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Astros trade closer Jose Veras to Tigers

Jul 29, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays Getty Images

Jose Veras had never been a closer when he signed with Houston this offseason, but the Astros gave him a chance in the ninth-inning role at age 32 and now they’ve traded him to a team in the market for a closer.

Houston sends Veras to Detroit for outfield prospect Danry Vasquez and a player to be named later, getting value out of a $2 million free agent signing and the willingness to put a pitcher in a role he’s never filled before.

It’s unclear if Veras will remain in the closer role for the Tigers, who’ve been looking for ninth-inning help all season and turned to the trade market after the Jose Valverde reunion predictably went horribly. Joaquin Benoit has been doing the job of late and has a superior track record to Veras, who’d never saved more than two games in a season before converting 19 saves with a 2.93 ERA and 44/14 K/BB ratio in 43 innings for the Astros.

Vasquez is a 19-year-old left fielder hitting .281 with five homers and a .723 OPS in 96 games at low Single-A. He signed out of Venezuela for a huge $1.2 million bonus and Baseball America ranked him as the Tigers’ sixth-best prospect coming into the season.

  1. cur68 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    I think the news here is that The Astros even HAD a closer. . .sorry Stex. But really, I’ve never heard of the kid. Good luck to him, too. He’s finally going to pitch in high stake games.

    • mattjg - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      I’m happy to see Veras finally get a chance on the big stage after languishing in Houston and other backwater baseball towns like New York where he pitched in over 100 games for the Yankees.

      • cur68 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        He was a Yankee? No wonder I never heard of him. I treat all Yankees like I treat Imperial Stormtroopers: faceless minions of a great evil.

        Except Jeter, of course. Him I treat like Darth Maul: best cut in half and dropped from a great hight.

    • danielcp0303 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      Veras isn’t really a kid, 32 years old

      • cur68 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM

        I’m 45. He’s a kid.

    • historiophiliac - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      Well, now that he’s ours, I have to get all insulted that you don’t know who he is. /sniffs

      Looks like the Tigers have regained our two-Jose pitching balance…hoping it’s not a see-saw.

      • paperlions - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        It is always important to maximize the number of Josés on Los Tigres!

    • stex52 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      Veras did quite well in the job. You can see from the stats he collected saves and had a good K/BB record. His Opponents BA was about.195 with Houston. Common wisdom in the Fantasy Leagues was not to pick him up because the Astros would have few closing opportunities. But I have done rather well with him on my team. I will have to reassess now that he may not be the closer anymore.

      Now I have a problem because he was the only Astro on my Fantasy Team. Sorry, Cur.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        You are Astroless?

      • stex52 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:00 AM

        On my Fantasy team, yes. Looking at a couple of possibilities, but check the OPS for most of those guys. Makes it hard to commit to one.

      • Reflex - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        I generally did well with closers on poor teams. The conventional wisdom is that they get fewer chances but I often found guys who’d pick up 30-40 saves. They were often ignored in drafts but at the end of the day bad teams tend to score less which means the wins they do get tend to be closer, which means save situations. Plus the closers aren’t highly sought after in the first place…

  2. mattjg - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    From Tiger’s beat writer @BeckJason: “#Tigers press release quotes Dave Dombrowski saying Veras complements the roles of Benoit, Smyly. So Benoit remains the closer.”

    • largebill - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      As with any team, the closer is the closer until he blows a couple leads and becomes an ex-closer.

  3. philliesblow - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Low risk trade for the Tigers as they have a fair amount of OF depth in the minors. Glad they didn’t move Catellanos or Garcia. Player to be named likely means one of this year’s draft choices.

  4. spudchukar - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Luhnow strikes again. It might take a while but the Astros will be competing soon.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      Nice move by the Astros.

    • dblevins2013 - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      I agree I really like what Luhnow is doing just wish our dumba$$ owner we had before would have done this years ago we would be a lot better off.

  5. Francisco (FC) - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    I think it’s proper to paraphrase Ratatouille: “Anyone can Close!”

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      Valverde and Harry are the exceptions.

      • jburrell4 - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Heath Bell

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:33 PM


  6. therealbigben - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Cisnero is the add, fantasy GMs! If you want a save every other week that is 😛

  7. royce1054 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    All i have to say is WOW!. On hes #4 and other various detriot websites hes #3-5. You have got to be kidding me. I do not think Veras is that good. I was expecting some 20th round pick that will fall out at the end of the year. Instead we got someone who might become somebody. Maybe the tigers know something that we do not to offer that level of talent. BTW i do know that the tiger farm system is not deep right now and he will probably be placed around 12 on our list but still that is steal

    • royce1054 - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      sorry for the misspelling i didn’t mean it in the way you yanks are taking it. Just chill out and have a beer im at work going though tons of code. But other than that what i really said wasn’t wrong. Veras is not a real closer and i dont think he warranted a someone on the tigers top 20 list and PTBNL as well.

  8. ryanrockzzz - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Good deal. Now all of those Papelbon to the Tigers rumors can be squashed.

  9. trollingforjustice - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    he should be a good complement to benoit when he is not available. assuming detroit will get alot of save opportunities with Verlander struggling

  10. clevelandschronic2 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    @royce detroit still has websites i thought they went bankrupt lol

    • royce1054 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      I was surprised too! I guess someone still has money incoming or maybe they are not in detriot but tigers fans

      • lvwingfan - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM

        It’s “Detroit”, not “Detriot.” Illitch owns the Tigers and doesn’t work for the city. What a stupid comment on your part. From the look of your grammar, I’m surprised you can read!

      • royce1054 - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        sorry it was a misspelling.. i really didnt mean anything by it. i guess the joke did go too far. The mexicans down here say we can be harsh

    • detroitr1 - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      @ Clevelandsteamer2. As far as baseball goes, Detroit might be bankrupt and crazy-but do you want to compare Dolan to Illitch in terms of what team has the support and loyalty of its owner?

      BTW…The difference between Detroit and Cleveland is whether your hate or love Detroit–at least people give a shit enough to talk about Detroit. Even if they’re laughing at it.

    • lvwingfan - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      Wow….a Cleveland troll insulting Detroit. Do we need to link the video showing the lady from Cleveland, bragging about her free Obama phone and how her and all the low income folks in your city “kept him in President?” The Tigers do not work for the city of Detroit, moron!

  11. ghstmnnfrst - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Moves like this make me wish the Cards hung on to Luhnow.

    • mc1439 - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:50 PM

      Posts like this make me wish I could punch you in the face.

  12. joerymi - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Bit surprised that they would deal Danry Vasquez for a relativly minor deal. Vasquez is a couple years away, at best, but they seemed to be high on him. Great move for the Astros. Danry Vasquez has potential, and a good bullpen arm is basically meaningless for them this season.

    It helps the Tigers, but he won’t be closing games. Benoit has been outstanding, and Smyly would probably slot in if Benoit falters or is injured.

    I think the Tigers might be done know. They are just holding their breath on Peralta, assuming they don’t already know, one way or the other.

  13. weaselpuppy - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I bet the go for a middle infielder. Santiago is completely useless, Infante had a setback with his ankle and Peralta’s Biogenesis cloud is looming, though from what I’ve seen he may not have been too or at all involved. Regardless, they need speed off the bench and MI is where it should happen.

    Long term, with Ajax, Dirks, Castellanos, Garcia, Fields, Moya, Schotts and Tyler Collins, Vasquez was very expendable….I mean, remember when trading away a very Vasquez-like Wilikin Ramirez was a nail-biter?

  14. drpluta - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Reblogged this on THE QUARTERBACK and commented:
    This trade comes as a surprise to many as even most Houston Astros fans were unaware that they even had a closer.

  15. jkaflagg - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Good value for the Astros, and a good opportunity for Veras to contribute to a winning team…..recently,he has been the only halfway reliable reliever in Houston; unless somebody breaks through in the bullpen the way Cosart has as a starter, they may not reach 50 wins this year….

    • stex52 - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:45 PM

      You speak to a serious issue. just Saturday Porter had him go 1-2/3 innings against Toronto because he didn’t want to lose it with another reliever. I guess it’s Ambriz now, but this creates a problem going forward.

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