The Detroit Tigers have acquired closer Jose Veras from the Houston Astros but Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland says the he won’t close.
Tigers will keep Benoit as closer, use Veras along with Smyly in the 7th and 8th innings.
— Danny Knobler (@DannyKnoblerCBS) July 29, 2013
Minutes after the trade was announced Jim Leyland told CBS sports Danny Knobler “Benoit is my closer, period.” This ends speculation about where the new Tigers reliever will fit in the late inning rotation.
Joaquin Benoit has been solid as the teams closer after replacing Jose Valverde in the role in late June. Benoit recently notched his ninth save against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday at Comerica Park. Further, the emergence of Drew Symly as an effective late innings reliever has given the Tigers some flexibility when covering the 7th and 8th and ninth innings. However that flexibility has been hampered by the lack of bullpen depth.
The acquisition of Jose Veras adds depth and takes pressure off of Al Alberquerque and Darin Downs who have struggled at times with walks in pressure situations. Veras has a history of control issues himself but has corrected those in 2013, posting a 1.00 WHIP with a 3.14 strike-out to walk ratio.
The Tigers may still be interested in making another deal. According to Danny Knobler, the Tigers remain in talks with the San Diego Padres about reliever Luke Gregerson but the Padres asking price is too high.