Reportedly offered minor-league contracts by as many as a half-dozen teams last week, reliever Jose Veras has signed with the Pirates, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes.
Veras chose the Pirates over the Giants, Rockies, Twins, Marlins, and Rays, with Rojas reporting that the right-hander will receive a base salary of $1 million if he makes the team and could earn an additional $500,000 in incentives.
Veras has a 4.25 ERA in 176 career innings, including a 3.75 ERA and 54/29 K/BB ratio in 48 innings for the Marlins last season. He has good raw stuff, with a mid-90s fastball and nearly a strikeout per inning, but has struggled to consistently throw strikes.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.