Closer Jose Veras had been acquired from the Houston Astros in exchange for minor league outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named later. Veras has a 2.93 ERA and 19 saves in 22 chances. Vazquez was No. 3 on our midseason prospect ranking, updated earlier this month.
"We are pleased to add an experienced arm to our bullpen," Tigers president/GM David Dombrowski said in a press release. "Jose can pitch in a variety of roles, provides depth in the bullpen, and complements the roles of Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly."
Benoit will remain in the closer's role, early reports indicate.
Veras was enjoying a rather successful season after taking over the closer's role in Houston. His ERA is nearly a run better than his career average, and the 3.39 FIP this season is the best of his career. He's done it by continuing a high strikeout percentage (26 percent of plate appearances end in strikeout) while finally limiting his walks (8.3 percent, compared to 12.1 percent career average).
Veras is owed the remainder of his $1.8 million salary for 2013 and has a team option available for $3.25 million next year.
Vasquez is batting .281 with .333 on-base percentage and .390 slugging for Low-A West Michigan. As Jordan Gorosh wrote earlier this month, Vasquez has the potential to be an above-average player in the outfield, but he has a lot of work to do to reach that point.
This seems like a trade that will pay off immediately for the Tigers. They needed to improve upon the performances of right-handers Al Alburquerque and Bruce Rondon. The possibility remains that it pays off well for the Astros down the line as well.