Earlier today the Detroit Tigers acquired reliever Jose Veras from the Houston Astros for minor league outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named.
The 32 year-old player is 0-4 with a 2.93 ERA and 19 saves this MLB season, and Veras has struck out 44 in 43 innings with only 14 walks.
The Tigers entered the baseball season not knowing a lot at the closer spot, and even though Joaquin Benoit has done a great job pitching in that role lately, the AL Central-leading Detroit team still needed bullpen depth. In addition to Benoit and Drew Smyly, none of their other relievers have been all that effective on a consistent basis.
Veras has been a lot of help while bouncing from team to team in recent years. The Dominican Republic native has posted a 3.75 ERA with Florida in 2010, a 3.80 ERA with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011 and a 3.63 ERA with the Milwaukee Brewers last season.
The Houston Astros signed him to a one-year deal last offseason, and the last-place Houston team could certainly afford to trade their closer if the chance to acquire a solid prospect presented itself.
The 19 year-old Vasquez was ranked by Baseball America as the sixth-best prospect in the Tigers’ system before this season. In 2013 Vasquez hit .281 with five home runs and 39 RBIs in 96 games for Class A West Michigan.
Benoit has converted all 10 of his save chances for Detroit this season, and the 36 year-old’s Smyly is 4-0 with a 1.77 ERA in 61 innings. In Veras, the Tigers will now add a right-hander who can pitch in the late innings.