Today the Astros officially announced the completion of the deal with Free Agent reliever Jose Veras. The right-hander, who made 72 appearances for Milwaukee last season, signed a one-year deal worth $1.85 million. The contract is reported to include a $3.25 million club option for 2014. Jeff Luhnow continues to work on the Astros bullpen, an area that was in desperate need of improvement.
Veras has a lofty career strikeout rate of 9.4 per nine innings. He also has a not-so-pretty average of 4.9 walks per nine. Last season he averaged 10.6 Ks and 5.4 walks per nine innings. The Astros will need to remove a player from the 40-man roster to make room for Veras. My guess is it will be Sam Demel.
In case you missed any of the roster moves that took place earlier in the week, here’s a brief summary.
Monday the Astros signed veteran first-baseman Carlos Pena. Reliever Mickey Storey was DFA’d to make room for Pena on the roster. Storey was later claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Wednesday the Astros acquired right-hander John Ely from the Dodgers in a trade that sent lefty Rob Rasmussen to Los Angeles. The Astros then DFA’d outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin to make room for Ely.
In other news, the Astros announced another front office signing. Meg Vaillancourt was brought in as the team’s VP of Community Relations and Executive Director of the Astros In Action Foundation. Vaillancourt had been working in a similar capacity with the Red Sox.
The Astros have also released the dates for their annual CAREvan and FanFest activities. Those fun-time happenings are slated for late next month.
Apparently Bill Brown will be returning to the Astros TV booth next season. If we’re lucky we might even get to see a few games. That, of course, wil depend on CSN Houston’s ability to sign with more satellite and cable providers.