Released by the Braves during spring training, veteran reliever Jose Veras has signed a minor-league deal with the Astros.
Veras spent the second half of last season with the Astros and pitched well with a 3.03 ERA and 37/16 K/BB ratio in 33 innings, but he never gained much traction as a 34-year-old free agent.
Veras has a 3.91 career ERA, including a 3.70 ERA with 322 strikeouts in 295 innings since 2010, so it’s somewhat surprising that it took this long for a team to grab him as a potential middle relief option.
For now he’ll head to extended spring training.
Last month Jose Veras had to settle for a minor-league deal from the Braves despite being a consistently solid reliever for the past five seasons and now Atlanta has released the 34-year-old right-hander.
Veras was awful in April of last year, but from May 1 on he threw 40 innings with a 2.90 ERA and 45/17 K/BB ratio. And he posted a sub-4.00 ERA with good strikeout rates every season from 2010-2013.
Assuming he’s healthy there are plenty of teams that could use Veras in a middle relief or even setup role.
The Braves announced this afternoon that reliever Shae Simmons underwent Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. The 24-year-old will miss the entire 2015 season.
A hard-throwing right-hander, Simmons posted a 2.91 ERA and 23/11 K/BB ratio over 21 2/3 innings as a rookie in 2014 prior to missing the final two months of the season due to lingering shoulder soreness. The Braves were expecting him to be a part of their bullpen this year, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that he felt discomfort in his elbow during a bullpen session last week before getting the bad news.
The Braves have brought in a host of veteran bullpen arms over the past few days, including Jose Veras, Matt Capps, and Todd Coffey, which makes a lot more sense now that we know about Simmons. Jason Grilli and Veras figure to be the top candidates to set up for Craig Kimbrel.