12/19/12: Astros Sign Free Agent Jose Veras And Payroll Explodes To 22 Million

Of course, they dumped Mickey Storey again and this time, the Blue Jays snapped him right up.

So they are spending 1.85 mill on a middle reliever, a righty, Jose Veras, who we know from the Pirates and Braves. They are talking about him being in the mix for the closer. Like, you know, wow.

He was signed as a kid out of the Dominican by Tampa, and after 6 years, they let him go. He played a year in the Rangers minor leagues. Then, he signed a minor league FA contract in 2006 with the Yankees, and reached the majors in 06, throwing 11 innings in relief, and 7 innings in 07. He spent most of both years at AAA, closing, mostly.

He spent most of 08 with the ML club, not closing, of course, and posted a 3.59 ERA/1.41 WHIP over 59 IP – the WHIP was high because of 4.5 BB/9. In 09, he again started the year with the ML club, but his walk rate rose to almost 5, his K rate dropped from 9.7 to 5.6 and his ERA rose to 5.69. He was purchased by Cleveland at the end of June, don’t ask me why. He threw 24 innings over 22 games, not closing, and his walk rate remained high, although he had a few more Ks, and his hits/9 dropped from 9 to 6.

Nevertheless, Cleveland didn’t resign him at the end of the year and he was signed by the Marlins. He threw 48 innings over 48 games, keeping the same low 6 Hits/9 and high (5) BB/9 and 10 K/9. He posted a 3.75 ERA/1.29 WHIP.

In 2011, he signed with the Pirates, posting virtually the same numbers over 71 innings.

Last year, he signed with the Brewers, throwing 67 innings/72 games. Same 5.4 BB/9 (and you thought Wesley Wright lacked control), 10.6 J/9, and hits rose to 8.5/9, so his WHIP rose to 1.51.

He just turned 32, is walkeriffic, not homeriffic and has a good K rate. Maybe he can close, although he hasn’t done it since 2007. Youneverknow.

I’m sure the Players’ Union is ecstatic at the heavy spending.

Oh yeah – and Rob Rassmussen, one of the minor leaguers we got in the Carlos Lee trade (he’s a skinny little lefty – think Chad Harville, only skinny) just finished AA as a starter, with decent numbers, reasonable H/9, K/9 and low walks – was traded to the Dodgers for one of their failed starters, John Ely.

He’s a 26, gonna be 27 in May year old righty, drafted in the 3rd round of the 07 draft by the White Sox and traded to the Dodgers for Juan Pierre. He was called up in 2010 – someone must have been hurt – he threw 100 innings over 18 games with a 5.69 ERA (71 ERA+) and a 1.45 WHIP. 9.5 H/9, 1.1 HR/9, 3.6 BB/9, 6.7 K/9 IP.

He spent almost all of the next 2 years at AAA, throwing only 14 innings combined in the ML. He was lousy in 2011 – 5.99 ERA/1.58 WHIP, but they kept him anyway (it’s the high draft pick thing, betcha) and whaddaya know, he improved. He cut the ERA to 3.20, WHIP to 1.10 – and this was at Albuquerque. 18 HR, 36 BB, 165 K/ 168 IP over 27 games.

His AAA numbers look better than Alex White’s, tell you that. Anyway, he’s gonna be minimum wage for the next 2 years, so he fits right into the Astros plans.

Am still wondering how long it is going to take the mainstream media to point out that Crane is not spending even half of what he is taking in on the majors + draft + minors. Probably never. And the Royals think THEY are irrelevant…


22 Responses to “12/19/12: Astros Sign Free Agent Jose Veras And Payroll Explodes To 22 Million”

  1. Bruce says:

    “Walkeriffic”. “Failed starters”. Sheesh.

    I had Ely on a fantasy team a couple years ago and he was great for about 8 games, then got figured out. Hopefully he can put it together.

  2. Lisa Gray says:


    i hear tell he has a high 80s FB and a curve that doesn’t. we’ll see

  3. Eric says:

    I looked at Jose Veras’ stats and ignored his NL stats and focused on his AL stats. He’s had exactly one decent year in the AL…his NL stats were significantly lower due to the lack of DH.

    To put it bluntly..he sucks. He easily was 5+ ERA in the AL total in his AL career. If the Astros are looking at him as a closer then damn, they are in trouble unless Veras discovers the super sekrit to pitching and pulls off a Billy Wagner type of season. Mind you, Wags had ONE bad season throughout his career. He totally blows Lidge out of the water as far as closing goes. And lets’ not talk about Valverde neither.

    The Astros should have hung onto Wagner..mouth and all. He’d have been worth the moolah.

  4. Becky says:

    Heard this, Jose Valverde is on the “dshort” list for a closer with the Astros.
    I *LIKE* it! He always made me laugh at his mound “antics”!!! Becky :) :) :) :)

  5. Bruce says:

    Valverde – I’d take him!

  6. Bruce says:

    Isn’t Lidge available, as well?

  7. Eric says:

    Do you think Lidge and Pujols exchange Christmas cards ? LOL

    Pujol’s card to Lidge: “Going yard on you. Merry X-Mas”

  8. Becky says:

    Pujols and Lidge= The sound heard around the world! THAT was *TOUGH*
    to watch. Merry Crristmas you guys, an Lisa TOOOO!!!!! Becky:) :) :) :) :)

  9. Lisa Gray says:

    valverde is as cooked as coco cordero. so, no.

    brad lidge retired earlier this year – tried to come back with the nats, but just couldn’t pitch. he had all those injuries. but when he was good, DAMM he was good. i’m really happy he had that wonderful year with the phils in 08.

    as for jose veras:
    my yankee fan friends – “you talk about garbage bin”
    my pirate fan friends – mbwahahahahahaha
    my brewers fan friends: jeezus – he couldn’t even stay with the brewers terrible pen

    lidge’s card back to pujols – enjoy it because it’s the only decent hit you ever got off me

  10. Bruce says:

    “Cooked as Coco”. Love it!

  11. Bruce says:

    Indians pick up Kazmir on a minor league contract. Sounds like a good risk to me.

  12. Eric says:

    Should have said “cuckoo for Coco” *riffs on the Coco Puffs jingle*

  13. Lisa Gray says:

    kazmir couldn’t outpitch jason lane of the skeeters.

    ah well, he made plenty of $$$ while he was good

  14. Bruce says:

    There was a report Kazmir was throwing in the 90-94 range over the winter. Who knows? I remember when Vogelsong was el stinkeroo.

  15. Lisa Gray says:


    REALLY? he hadn’t thrown like that in years. and you are right about vogelsong. youneverknow – maybe kaz really HAS recovered his missing stuff

  16. Bruce says:

    Sad news out there about Ryan Freel.

  17. Lisa Gray says:

    i remember ryan freel – brandon barnes kind of reminds me of him.
    i hear tell, he had an “imaginary friend” in his head – poor guy – told reporters about that. and also he had 2 significant head traumas i remember – crashed into someone and hit the ground with his head – HARD, came back to play probably too soon, was worried about someone taking his job. then he got hit in the head with a pickoff throw a couple years later.

    untreated depression? bipolar? plus significant head trauma = trouble.

    he’s Husband’s age. it’s really sad and scary. and he had a little grrrl, too…

  18. sceptor says:

    if ever there was a novelty team in baseball, the stros are it

  19. Lisa Gray says:


    yeah – and the mariners and marlins aren’t far behind, but we’re worser than them

  20. Becky says:

    I hope you have a blessed Christmas, Lisa! I just wish we could change your mind on leaving this Astros blog :( :( :( It’s not often that a woman like you, has such insight on baseball. For that, and for letting me blog here……I am eternally great full. The families of Newtown will NEVER have good memories of Christmas………
    so hug your little ones extra long for me and for those sweet families who had to bury their babies in the last two weeks. After all………..Christmas and “Santa Clause” is really just for our families and our children. I wish ALL of you who have joined this wonderful blog, a peaceful Christmas. Hugs to ALL of you! Becky:) :) :) :)

  21. Lisa Gray says:

    and merry christmas and hugs to you too becky!!! and to your family – healthy and happy days!!!

    i remember to treasure my children. it was just yesterday they were babies and tomorrow they’ll be grown n gone.

    i treasure my baseball friends too – aren’t real too many left these days. sigh