One of the bigger Houston Astros signings from last offseason, and perhaps the only successful one, was that of Jose Veras. Where Rick Ankiel and Carlos Pena fell flat on their faces, Veras became a rock at the back of a very shaky bullpen. He converted 19 out of 22 save opportunities and maintained an ERA of 2.93. He was the only reliable arm and the only reliever who gave the Astros any confidence in preserving a rare win.
Midway through the season, the Astros parted ways with Veras for outfield prospect Danry Vasquez in a deal with the Detroit Tigers. The trade was a good deal for both teams, as the Astros got a prospect that wound up hitting .288 with three home runs and 20 RBIs in his shortened season in the Astros system.
Now, the trade could become infinitely more beneficial to the Astros if they decide to go out and sign Veras again this offseason. They would have essentially given up nothing to get a fairly well-regarded prospect.
It goes without saying that Veras would be welcomed back with open arms into a bullpen he already spent half a season with. Veras is a good pitcher as he struck out 44 batters in 43 innings in Houston while walking only 14. He had some shaky moments, but his consistency is without question. The bullpen has not improved a whole lot since Veras left, and the Astros desperately need a closer to preserve wins and confidence for their young starting rotation.