12/17 Report: Veras to Cubs

The Cubs have reportedly signed veteran right-handed reliever Jose Veras to a one-year, $4 million contract with a $5.5 million option for 2015. ESPN Deportes’ Enrique Rojas first reported the deal Tuesday, saying it included several incentives. The Cubs would not confirm the deal.

Veras, 33, has pitched for the Yankees, Indians, Marlins, Pirates, Brewers, Astros and Tigers, and compiled a 3.84 ERA with 26 saves in 42 opportunities. Last season, the right-hander totaled a career-high 21 saves in 25 opportunities with the Astros and Tigers combined. He was Houston’s closer before being dealt to Detroit in July for two players. Veras was used more in a set-up role with the Tigers.

The Cubs are in the market for a closer and Veras could compete for that job or provide more experience in the bullpen. Detroit turned down a $4 million option on the right-hander.

– Carrie Muskat

25 Comments

If Veras is as good as Gregg was last year and if Strop and Parker are as good as they were for the Cubs last year, then suddenly the Cubs have a decent mix of late-inning relievers. If Russell is better with a slightly lighter workload and Wright picks up the slack, then the Cubs should have a pretty good bullpen all-around. I wonder if they’ll look to trade Carlos Villanueva now, especially if they’re still serious about signing another starter as well?

Alot of if’s Doug, but the bullpen is looking much better. Managements first year, the beginning of the season they watched, K Wood and Marmol blow many saves.
Last year they signed Fujikawa to back up Marmol. Fuji gets hurt and Marmol continues to blow saves.
This year they are trying a different route to start the season. Just my opinion, but both seasons could have been better if not for the Bullpen starting the seasons.
Now they have Wright, Veras, Grimm, Hendricks and Strop who were not there to start the season last year.
Parker, Rondon, Villanueva and Russell who were there to start the season last year. Fuji on the DL. Vizcaino who was on the DL, maybe coming back. I see Rondon starting in the Minors??
So I count 9 Bullpen Pitchers, not including, Fuji, Vizcaino and Rondon.
Will Grimm and Villanueva get stretched out to start? Will Samardizja and Villanueva get traded?
Will the starting 5, be Wood, Samardizja, Jackson, Rusin and???
Will Rusin and Raley even make the team?
This is interesting.

Lots of ifs, but there’s not many certainties in today’s game. At least they now have a bunch of guys with decent track records rather than total unknowns. Veras, Strop, Parker, Russell, and Wright are probably locks to make the team. That leaves 1-2 openings in the bullpen. Assuming they don’t sign any other relief pitchers, that/those spot(s) should be filled by any of the following: Villanueva, Rondon, Grimm, Cabrera, Fujikawa (if/when healthy), Vizcaino (if/when healthy), or Liam Hendricks. I think Villanueva could be traded, and Rusin, Grimm, Cabrera, Vizcaino, or Hendricks (both of them) could be considered for the #5 spot in the rotation too.. at least as it stands now. Of course, a trade of Samardizja or a free agent starter could change all of that, but for now that’s what the Cubs 2014 pitching staff is looking like.

Interesting you mention Cabrera, I see his stats at AA last year, he was a starter, had a very good year. Then was brought up to AAA and used out of the pen only. He was terrible.
I hope he makes the AA or AAA as a starter and stays there.

I threw Cabrera’s name in there because he’s on the 40-man roster and has minor league starting experience. He’s probably a long shot to land the #5 role and is most likely headed for Iowa to start the season, but who knows? If he’s had a good off-season followed by a good showing in Mesa and there’s an opening on the 25-man roster, he could be one of the first ones called upon to fill it.

I would love to see Cabrera starting out in AAA as a starter. He did very well in that role at AA. Of course AAA has Loux, Hendricks, then several others that did not fair so well at AAA last year.
Loux was injured last year, do not know the extent of his injury, but if not bad, he may be getting close.
For some reason, I dont know why, but I just dont see Rusin or Raley in the future at all. Maybe to help get the club through this year, but after that, I just see no future for either. Hope I am wrong.

Rusin is a soft-tossing lefty who is probably no more than a 4 or 5 starter. However, the league is full of soft-tossing lefties who you think are nothing special, then suddenly it’s five years later and they are on their third team in five years with a career 4.30 ERA and making a couple million. At the moment, I have him as the Cubs #5, but a lot can happen between now and when pitchers and catchers report in February. And even more can happen between then and Opening Day. I thought I read somewhere that the Cubs are giving up on Raley as a starter and moving him to the bullpen full time. In that case, I’m guessing that they’ll start him at AAA as a situational lefty and see what happens with Russell and Wright.

I understand what your saying about LH pitchers and agree 100%. The first person I thought of was Jamie Moyer, I hope your right about Rusin.
Some games he looks really good, the next he gets bombed. We will see.

Does the term”Suitcase” mean anything to the front office who seem to hang around the “bum of the month” club to find supporting staff for guys who have trouble making it past the 5th inning. At this rate, the Cubs will wind up first in the best Pinochle World Series of card games and in old time relievers. Geez!

Pinochle being the best card game ever, does not relate to baseball.
Diamondjim, maybe you will tell us what is wrong with these signings? They all seem to be very reasonable compared to todays standards, all for 1 or 2 years.
Also some have had recent success and potential to do well another year or two.
The only one I dont understand ( yet ), is Hendricks. I am sure front office or scouts know something we dont.

He is just a warm body incase IT hits the fan. And there is the chance he’ll come out of nowhere and light it up, and then they ‘ll trade him.

That’s got to be the first reference to pinochle on this blog …

We just like to surprise you now and then, Carrie!! :))

Pinochle is the best card game ever, kind of drifting away. Not many can play anymore, I miss it.

I understand some of the frustrations of fans about our approach but I personally like it. Chances are we weren’t going to contend without a bunch of luck this year and I didn’t see anyone I thought the Cubs should spend stupid money on available this year. I think it would be foolish to trade the Shark though. I believe we will get better years out of Castro and Rizzo and that we may be closer than many think to contending. If Olt can make it back to where he was before his eye troubles, Lake can build upon what he did last year and Bryant can become an outfielder then this time next year we are suddenly looking at adding a couple of pieces to be a contender for years to come.

Olt is a key this year, many options if he makes the team. If not, maybe a Murphy/Valbuena at 3rd. Barney/Watkins at 2B, Ruggiano/Schierholtz in RF. Hopefully that will get them by one more year.
If Olt does make the team out of ST, I would love to see them rest Rizzo against the very tough LH pitchers. Sveum did not do that. Kershaw, Lee and just the real tough LH pitchers.
Play Olt at 1B those days and Murphy at 3B. Use Rizzo late in the game those days as a PH.

I get what you are saying by sitting Rizzo but honestly if our 1b of the future can’t hit those tough lefties enough to start everyday no matter what then we need to look for better options for our future. That just won’t cut it.

Guess your not understanding what I am getting at. Against a tough LH’er, better chance of winning the game with a RH Bat at 1B. Plus it gives Rizzo a day off here & there.
In addition, those 0 for fours that Rizzo acquired last year will be off the books. That will raise his AVG.
We all know that confidence is very important to success. It could very well help in that capacity also. I get your point, understand your opinion, thats just my opinion.

No I am understanding perfectly…. what I am saying if one of the pieces of our future isn’t good enough to compete with those tough lefties then maybe we just need to rethink what pieces we actually have for the future.

Why don’t the cubs sign veteran Derrick Lee for third base. He’s used to playing the hot corner at first there wouldn’t be much of a difference at third, and he still has pop in the bat, the cubs stay quiet in the off-season every year it’s time to spend some money to win, rather than trade trade trade

seriously? come on man….

Either you’re joking, or you are the dumbest fan in the history of fandom. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for now.

Zach is pulling our chains, methinks. He probably advocates re-signing Henry Cotto to play the outfield in late innings when we have precarious leads.

I think Zach dipped into the eggnog a little early.

I can send him some “special” Oregon brownies to go with the eggnog! :))

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