The Cubs have a new relief pitcher, who has been a closer, at a fairly reasonable price:
http://t.co/Uyb6SwhEpM source: José Veras and #Cubs agree one year $4 million deal. Option $5,5 for 2015. Incentives.— Enrique Rojas/ESPN (@Enrique_Rojas1) December 17, 2013
Here's Enrique Rojas' original Spanish-language article at ESPN Deportes. It basically says what's in the tweet, says he's going to be the Cubs' closer, and notes that it is subject to Veras passing his physical.
Veras is 33 -- no youngster -- and wasn't really a closer until last year with the Tigers and Astros. He had 19 saves with Houston and two after he was traded to Detroit. The 21 saves came along with four blown saves. He pitched in the postseason for the Tigers, and you probably best remember him for giving up Shane Victorino's grand slam in the clinching Game 6 of the ALCS.
Veras has also pitched for the Yankees, Indians, Marlins, Pirates and Brewers in an eight-year career. He was a decent middle relief/setup man in 2011 and 2012, and in 2013, posted a combined WHIP of 1.069, issuing just 14 walks in 62⅔ innings.
In yet another Cubs connection, he was traded from the Pirates to the Brewers after the 2011 season for Casey McGehee.
It seems a reasonable signing at this price; if Veras can close, Pedro Strop would be a useful setup man. Or maybe the two of them fight it out for closer during spring training.