12/27 Cubs sign Jose Veras

The Cubs now have a bonafide closer. On Friday, the Cubs announced they have signed right-hander Jose Veras to a one-year, $3.85 million contract with a club option for 2015. There is a $150,000 buyout for 2015.

The Cubs did not chose to keep free agent Kevin Gregg after he saved 33 games last season, taking over for Carlos Marmol, who was traded to the Dodgers, and Kyuji Fujikawa, who needed Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Veras, 33, combined to go 0-5 with 21 saves and a 3.02 ERA in 67 relief appearances between the Astros and Tigers last season. He struck out 60 and walked 22 over 62 2/3 innings, and compiled a .199 opponents batting average against. The right-hander began the season with Houston and posted a 2.93 ERA and 19 saves in 42 outings before he was traded to Detroit, where he made nine appearances and helped the Tigers reach the postseason.

In 2011, Veras ranked fifth in the National League with 27 holds in a career-high 79 appearances. He also was a member of the 2013 World Baseball Classic Dominican Republic club. Since the start of the 2011 season, he is tied for fifth in the Major Leagues with 218 appearances.

His contract with the Cubs includes incentives for an additional $750,000 based on games finished.

The Cubs’ bullpen is definitely stronger with Veras at the end. He joins lefty relievers James Russell, Wesley Wright and Zac Rosscup and right-handers Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, Blake Parker, and Arodys Vizcaino.

– Carrie Muskat

5 Comments

Veras
Strop
Russell
Wright
Grimm
Cabrera
Rondon
Rusin
Rosscup
Marshall

Hey…too many relief guys…..Spring Training trade will happen.

Not necessarily. 6 or 7 players on your list will be on the team and the rest will probably be at AAA. Right now I have Rusin as the #5 starter, Veras as the closer, Strop, Parker (who you forgot to list), and Russell as the setup men, Wright as the lefty specialist, Villanueva (also not listed) as the long reliver, and Rondon as the extra reliever if they want to carry 12 pitchers total. That leaves Grimm, Rosscup, Cabrera, Raley, and Marshall as guys to send to AAA to start the season. If they wanted to trade someone, I suppose either Russell or Villanueva would be the two top candidates, but as it stands right now, I don’t see a trade as being absolutely necessary.

Also, there’s Vizcaino, who if healthy might be able to get into the bullpen. If not, then he’ll either be on the DL or start at AAA too.

Grimm makes the club…Cabrera is out of options……Raley & Parker I did not forget…..

I put Villanuava or Rusin as a starter……but n April, you need only four starters…..

Samardzija
Wood
Jackson
Arrieta

Veras
Strop
Russell
Wright
Grimm
Rondon
Cabrera
Villanuava
Rusin

that is 13 pitchers there………if Parker is added, someone has to go…..and if Baker resigns ( which I doubt), two has to go………Russell will not be traded

True, there are more off days in April, but despite that most teams still use the standard five-man rotation anyway.
Is Cabrera out of options? I only remember him being recalled from the minors two times. Even if he is out of options, they don’t have the space to throw him on the 25-man roster “just because” and he hasn’t shown enough at the higher levels yet to worry about losing him on waivers. A good spring or another roster shakeup could change that, but for now I have him on the outside regardless.
Given his strong year last season, I have very little doubt that Parker will be on the team in 2014.
As for Grimm, they like him and it would be between him and Rondon (who they also like… at least it seems that way due to the fact that they used a Rule 5 pick on him and managed to keep him on the 25-man all year long) for the 12th pitching spot, should the Cubs choose to take 12 pitchers out of spring training. Whoever has the better spring will probably win the spot while the other will go to AAA.
And I’m not saying Russell will be traded, but if they do want to make a trade to open up a spot in the bullpen, he probably has the most trade value of anyone on the Cubs, and now that they have a couple more lefties in the organization, he could be the one to be dealt.

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