With the All-Star break almost here, many teams are switching their focus to acquiring assets to give them better chances to make a run in the playoffs before the trade deadline ends on July 31.
The St. Louis Cardinals are one of those teams that don’t necessarily need to make any blockbuster moves, but they do have a few needs that could help them down the stretch as they are in a battle atop the NL Central with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Cardinals need a middle reliever who can come in and shut down the opposing side to make a deep run in the playoffs and perhaps to another World Series. The one one player that comes to mind that could more than fill this need is Houston Astros reliever Jose Veras.
Veras has made 38 appearances for a below-average Houston club and has done a great job in relief. For the season, Veras has a 3.29 era with 41 strikeouts compared to just 14 walks. He has also allowed just 26 hits and four home runs over 38.1 innings pitched.
Houston may not be willing to part ways with the reliever, but they will listen to other teams if they have a good offer to make. Veras would come cheap, as he is signed for just one year with the Astros, making $1.85 million this season with a team option for 2014.
The Cardinals are currently tied with a 53-34 record with the Pittsburgh, and adding a guy like Veras could help them make a run at the World Series and keep the pesky Pirates at bay.