Detroit Tigers Acquire Houston Astros Closer Jose Veras, But With A Twist

By Brent Smith
Jim Cowsert- USA TODAY Sports

Stop me if you heard this before: the Detroit Tigers acquired a former Houston Astros closer named Jose.

Hopefully, this Jose won’t leave the bitter taste in fans mouths as Jose Veras was traded to the Tigers on Monday morning  in a move that, though unsurprising, was completed rather quickly. Veras has posted 19 saves this season with a 2.93 ERA, and while he has blown some saves, that will not be one of his big concerns yet with the Tigers.

There is a twist to this acquisition and it is that the Tigers are most likely not going to be using Veras in the closer role this season. Instead, he’ll be pitching in the seventh and eighth innings as a setup guy.

It really shows how far Joaquin Benoit has come this season and how much brass trusts him to close out games, but Veras now is an insurance option should Benoit start to falter. Veras could be the closer next season once Benoit hits free agency as well.

The Tigers ended up trading Danny Vazquez, who is their sixth-best prospect, and the biggest downside is that he is just 19-years old. He could develop further into a really solid player for the Astros in their outfield.

Detroit also gave up a player to be named later but overall, Tigers fans have to view this trade as a complete positive. The team got a good arm on a cheap contract that could extend into next season for a prospect who isn’t considered elite.

The Tigers have had a poor track record in trading for bullpen help over the seasons, seeing guys like David Purcey, Phil Coke and Colin Balester flop after arriving. Detroit isn’t done trading, however. Think of this like that time when your parents let you open one Christmas gift the night before — there is still a whole tree of gift options for the Tigers, and fans can be sure that they are going to still be going after quite a few of them.

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