As MLB Trade Deadline 2013 closes in, Dave Dombrowski and the Detroit Tigers will be combing through MLB rosters to find a veteran reliever to bring consistency to the back-end of the bullpen. A possible trade partner for the Detroit Tigers could be the Houston Astros who are in complete rebuild mode.
This year the shining star in the Houston Astros bullpen is Jose Veras. The 32-year-old right-handed reliever is having a career year in 2013. He has been plagued with control issues in the past but this season Veras has put it together. Veras has a WHIP of 1.07 and opponents are batting paltry .201 against him this season. Veras has also converted 18 of 21 saves and could be asked to close for the Tigers if Leyland wants to move Joaquin Benoit back to set-up.
The Right Stuff
Veras has great stuff. He features a mid-nineties fastball and a devastating curve. The down-side is he has had trouble with locating that curve in previous seasons. In 2012 with the Milwaukee Brewers he showed flashes of registering 79 strikeouts in 67 innings. But his inconsistency was troubling for the Brewers and he was not offered a contract after posting a 1.507 WHIP.
Know When To Hold ‘Em
The Houston Astros decided to take a gamble on Jose Veras in 2013. Considering they were not planning to compete they decided to hand Veras the full-time closer’s role and he has flourished. Veras averages 9.6 strike-outs per nine innings and has averaged only one base runner per innings.
Gamble Could Pay Off
Veras could be an affordable option for the Detroit Tigers at the Trade deadline. After responding so well to the closer’s role in Houston he could be further motivated by being part of a contending team. The Astros are focused on rebuilding the franchise so getting a prospect for a Veras would be great for them. But the Tigers won’t be the only team in the market for a closer this season which could drive the price on Veras up if the Tigers wait until after the big names have been acquired. If done correctly, it is a low risk gamble that could pay-off for both teams.