Looking at the names in the Astros bullpen, one might wonder why the Astros would still be having in talks with Jose Veras. Last year Veras made the mistake of going after the money with the Chicago Cubs, and had a bad start to the season. After his release by the Cubs, Veras was claimed by the Astros who were desperate for bullpen arms in 2014.
Looking at Veras’s 2014, despite the bad start he didn’t have that bad of a season.
2014 Season Recap
He performed much better once he returned back to the Astros uniform, so is it in the best interest for the Astros and Jose Veras to come up with an agreement for 2015? The Astros traded Jose Veras to the Detroit Tigers in 2013 in exchange for outfield prospect Danry Vasquez who is one of the Astros top 20-prospects. Instead of returning to Houston in 2014 where he would have been “comfortable,” he was signed to close-out games for the Cubs.
For the past 2 seasons Jose Veras has been one of the top 25 relief pitchers with a 3.02 ERA as shown above. Even though he is 34-years old, he showed with the Astros last season that he can still bring the heat with an average of 10.2 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched.
Below is a quote from Evan Drellich’s article titled Former Astros closer Jose Veras still looking for a team.
"“I really made the mistake to sign with the Cubs instead of to sign with Houston early in winter time,” Veras said at season’s end. “But that’s the way it is. You learn by mistakes. It’s like I told you, I’m available to do anything. Be it closer, throw the eighth, throw the seventh. I just want to be on the team (where) I feel like a family, like I feel here. That all these guys respect me, I respect them, I love them, even though we don’t win 100 games like we maybe want to do.”"
Do The Astros need him in 2015?
Jose Veras told reporters that he has 4 teams interested in signing him right now, and one of them is the Houston Astros. The way he pitched at the end of the season, I would love to have Jose Veras back in the bullpen. However with the free agent additions this winter, there does not seem to be much room for Veras.
But as Jeff Luhnow would say, you can never have enough bullpen arms to build depth in case of injuries. “Our goal is to give the ball to more veteran relievers in crucial points of the ballgame, and not have to rely on unproven arms” Jeff Luhnow said at the bloggers round-table.
Let’s assume that the Astros break camp with twelve pitchers, that would leave us with seven bullpen arms. Which of those bullpen arms are penciled in right now? Good thing you asked, let’s analyze them.
2) Chad Qualls
3) Pat Neshek
4) Will Harris
5) Josh Fields
6) Lefty – Tony Sipp
7) Lefty – Kevin Chapman
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9) James Hoyt
10) Luis Cruz
Looking at he relievers above, I think the Astros bullpen is pretty set. Would I sign Jose Veras as insurance and maybe give Josh Fields some experience in AAA that he didn’t get as a Rule V draft pick? Possibly, because you can never have enough depth in the bullpen. If the Astros do sign him, I would only look at a 1-2 year deal due to his age. If the Astros do re-sign Veras, the bullpen has potential to be dominant.