Jose Veras served as the Astros’ closer this past season before a trade to the Tigers in July and now it appears that a return to Houston could be in the cards.
Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reported this afternoon that the Astros made an offer to Veras which was turned down. The two sides are still negotiating and the 33-year-old said yesterday that he would like to return to Houston, so something could get done eventually. However, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle hears that the Astros “have a lot of offers out” and are no closer to a deal with Veras than they are with anybody else.
Veras thrived as a first-time closer with Houston this year, posting a 2.92 ERA with 19 saves in 42 appearances prior to being traded to Detroit. Though it doesn’t matter much for a team that isn’t expected to contend, he would immediately be the favorite for saves if the Astros bring him back. It could require a multi-year deal this time around, though.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.