There were a number of teams interested in adding relief pitcher Jose Veras this past off-season. The veteran free agent brought a mid-90′s fastball and experience in high leverage situations. The Chicago Cubs landed him and named him their closer before the season started.
That partnership was short-lived. Having designated Veras for assignment last week, the Cubs released the 33-year-old pitcher on Tuesday. According to CSN Chicago:
Veras allowed a total of 10 runs in six April outings (two of which were blown saves), giving up multiple runs in four of those. He then hit the disabled list and came back in mid-May, only to make six more appearances before getting DFA’d.
The numbers tell just as ugly a story as the narrative description of Veras’s 2014 season. Through 12 appearances he posted a 8.10 ERA and registered zero saves. He issued 11 walks against 13 strikeouts. Before the season he was a sought-after free agent, but now he is available in a situation where his value is at its lowest.
That said, there are plenty of teams in need of help in the back of their bullpen. The Detroit Tigers have a huge hole in the back of their bullpen. The Los Angeles Dodgers have had surprising issues in their bullpen. The Baltimore Orioles have needed bullpen arms since day one of the season. And Rockies fans might point out that their pitching staff recently posted a collective ERA over 8.00 over a seven day period. That just begins to form a list of teams that will contact Veras.
Veras will join Heath Bell on the list of low-risk, possibly washed up relievers available on the free agent market for interested teams.