Jose Veras, easily one of the only watchable pieces of the Houston Astros bullpen this season, is now a member of the Detroit Tigers bullpen.
Reportedly, the Astros have acquired Danry Vasquez and a Player To Be Named Later in exchange.
A journeyman reliever-turned-closer, Veras has recorded 19 saves in 2013, with a 2.93 ERA and and a 9.21 K/9, while seemingly shedding the control issues that have hampered him to this point in his career.
A 6'4", nineteen-year-old outfielder from Venezuela, Vasquez is the Tigers' #4 prospect, according to Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com. After struggling in an aggressive promotion to A-ball in 2012, he excelled once moved to the New York-Penn League. This year in the Single-A Midwest League, he has a wRC+ of 101 while slashing .281/.333/.390. He has a track record of being a high-average hitter, as well as plus bat speed. He's a left-handed hitter, and a right-handed thrower.
The Scouting Book had this to say about Vasquez:
While he looked overmatched in a brief taste of A-ball in 2012, his earlier track record and plus bat speed both suggest that he should be a solid hitter a couple of years from now. How and where the Tigers deploy him will dictate whether he'll be a fast-rising and useful asset, or a slow-developing but ultimately more valuable one.
John Sickels graded him at a B-minus, saying:
Like Garcia, he's handicapped by poor plate discipline, but has terrific bat speed and is very young at age 19 in January. It will be interesting to see how aggressive the Tigers are about promoting him.
Veras' departure leaves a hole open in the major league bullpen. Down on the farm, Jason Stoffel, Josh Zeid, Kevin Chapman, Chia-Jen Lo, and Brad Peacock are likely the favorites to be the in-house options used to fill that hole, though Jorge De Leon - recently promoted to Oklahoma City - could also be a darkhorse candidate. Meanwhile, the closer role in Houston is now uncertain, with Jose Cisnero likely the primary candidate to work the ninth inning in an oh-so-rare save situation.
Here's what Bless You Boys, SB Nation's Detroit Tigers site, has to say about the trade.
Jose Veras trade: Tigers acquire RHP from Astros - Bless You Boys
By Kurt Mensching
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