Monday, July 29, 2013

Tigers Acquire Jose Veras from Astros

As originally reported by Ken Rosenthal, the Tigers acquired Jose Veras from the Astros this morning for outfield prospect Danry Vasquez.  Veras was closing games for Houston but he will not take that role on the Tigers.  Joaquin Benoit will remain the closer with Veras and lefty Drew Smyly setting up.  Detroit will be the seventh major league stop for the well traveled Veras.

The 32-year-old Dominican had a 2.98 ERA and 44/14 K/BB ratio in 43 innings with the Astros this year.  His RE24, a measure of overall effectiveness including situational pitching, was 6.80.  This indicates that he saved the Astros an estimated seven runs over an average pitcher.  This would rank him third on the Tigers staff behind Smyly (the MLB leader at 20.0) and Benoit (14.9).  The rest of the Tigers relievers are below zero meaning they have cost the team runs.

Veras has a history of control problems with 4.7 walks per nine innings in his career, but is down to 2.9 this year.  He has been especially sharp in recent weeks having held opponents to zero earned runs in 18 of his last 19 outings.  He also has walked just four batters during that period.

This deal adds depth to the Tigers bullpen for now, but it does not come without risks.  Vasquez is a consensus top ten Tigers prospect with a high upside. The 19-year-old Venezuelan outfielder is a raw talent with a .281/.331/.390 line at low A West Michigan.  I got a chance to see him last year when he played for the short season Connecticut Tigers.  I do not have scouting skills, but his athleticism stands out right away and the experts agree that his hitting tool is excellent.

If he develops power and a little plate discipline, Vasquez has the potential to be a middle of the order hitter.  He is very far away from the majors though and chances are that he'll flame out before he gets there.  He has more value to a team like the Astros that needs to stock pile such talents and hope that a couple of them pan out. The Tigers, on the other hand, want to win now and Veras will help them do that.

9 comments:

  1. Typical Tigers move, just selling another piece of the future to try and shore up a horribly inefficient current year team design. This really sucks. But this is what our team does, over and over and over again. Go back in time and eliminate all of the bad transactions and we would have a couple of World Series titles fall into our lap by now just from not making the obvious mistakes.

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  2. Really? Last years Marlins deal no good? Don't like the Fister deal? Upset in trading suspects for Miguel Cabrera? Even moves that didn't work like Aubrey Huff and Jarrod Washburn coat the Tigers little.

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    1. Not every single deal the Tigers have ever done was a mistake. But the fact of the matter remains that we have vastly underachieved relative to my expectations based on the opportunities we have had, and that is a function of being VERY CONSISTENT at making net-negative transactions. If this team would do a better job of isolating the best value players to acquire then we could really accomplish great things assuming we can also continue to improve other elements of the franchise that need work, such as issues with various fundamentals that have been exposed as pretty far from perfect.

      But first thing's first, for me at least, and that is to hope for smart decisions that make strategic sense to help this team shore up the greatest weak points. And that right now is a shortage of value players for the long-term to set us up with a good foundation for being the best team in baseball for a long time.

      So in conclusion, yea, really.

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    2. But on the flip-side, I really like the trade for the Astros. They presumably got the best guy they could or the guy they wanted the most that was made available for somebody they didn't have much use for considering their present position.

      But I did make a post on another blog at the beginning of the season about the Astros and this player was on my list of guys that I recommended for them to dump even then. So the earliest possible trading window for him is what they should have been planning for to pounce on and they might have lost a little usage time trade value by waiting as long to give up as they did. Plus, his 2014 salary ticks upward and to clear that liability for some younger and better value players for the future is a nice bonus for them in addition to getting a potentially usable young OF.

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  3. Oops...Cost not coat.

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  4. Hell, I say good trade. Pull the trigger. Pull it multiple times if it fills in some gaps. We haven't had a Tiger team with better chances of winning it all since 84.

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    1. I agree with you in a general sense, but not in this type of situation where I feel we have a very flawed offensive roster configuration.

      I complained about this type of transaction happening prior to the playoffs at the beginning of the season, and I have begged and hoped since the beginning of even last year that we would have forecasted towards today's date and made arrangements way back then to be in a nice position where you can do a top-off move to put you over the top. In that kind of scenario when you put yourself at #1 prior to a move like that and then can create some further separation, well that's a nice time to use up a little insurance, and you can have more insurance to pull from the future bank if you practice long-term good habits of being a buy-low and sell-high type of deal maker.

      But we are of the habit of the reverse. And we further compound our missed opportunities of the future every time we fail to get back on a straight line that points towards healthy transactional logic.

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    2. I guess I'm more of a "There's no such thing as a prospect guy." It is also the case that Veras is much, much more valuable to the Tigers than the Astros. Add an extra win or two to the Tigers season and they're perhaps a 90 win team instead of 88, and that much more likely to win the division. Add or subtract a few wins here and there from the Astros and they're still... the Astros. I think this concept is called "marginal wins" or some such thing, and I believe Lee has mentioned it in the past.

      For my part, I'd be happy to see a bit more topping off of the tank before the deadline. Win now! while Mr. Illitch is still the owner. You can bet if and when his kids take over the team they will suddenly become more value oriented, in other words - cheap. Cheers, Kevin

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    3. I wouldn't mind a more value-oriented approach. If we don't want to outspend everybody then that's ok, all I care about is that we outplay everybody. To me it's too much of a travesty to watch this season when I feel we should have as many wins with less than half the payroll we have. So do it with half the payroll, or balloon up to what we have and dominate.

      But the Tigers have failed at so many things that they are caught in a horrible no-man's land position and I find that to be utterly distasteful and inexcusable. I also think we should have to pay luxury tax fines for being so irresponsible, so we are getting off better than we truly deserve.

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