by Will Overton
The trade deadline is just a little over 48 hours away now and so the deals should be pouring in over the next couple of days. The Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros got the week started today when The Tigers acquired Jose Veras from the Astros in exchange for minor league outfielder Danrys Vasquez.
Veras has been closing for the Astros which means the deal could have significant fantasy impact if you are in need of saves or if you owned Veras already. The first question everyone is going to be asking is what role will Veras fill in Detroit.
Shortly after the trade Tigers beat writer Jason Beck of MLB.com tweeted out the following:
“Tigers press release quotes Dave Dombrowski saying Veras complements the roles of Benoit and Smyly. So Benoit remains the closer.”
A month ago the Tigers seemed to be a lock to add a closer at the deadline and Veras likely would’ve stepped into that role at that point in time. Since then though Joaquin Benoit has done a very adequate job of closing games out and so it looks like the Tigers are going to keep him in that role. Still, the Tigers chose Veras over other setup types most likely because of his closing experience and so if Benoit starts to get shaky, which he can, Veras will be right there waiting.
Meanwhile in Houston it’s still a bit unsure who gets the job now. Speculation is it will go to Jose Cisnero who has been working late in games as a setup man and has a 3.48 ERA with 40 K’s in 41.1 IP. However he does have some control issues with 19 BB’s and a 1.48 WHIP. It may Cisnero’s job by default as the other two most likely candidates Wesley Wright and Josh Fields have both struggled more than anyone expected. Houston may not win many games, but they win close ones when they do and Veras did have 19 saves, so there is some value in whoever wins the job.
As far as the prospect the Astros got goes, he’s got real major league potential, but he is a ways off still. Vasquez is hitting .281 at single-A ball this season with 5 HR’s and 9 SB’s. He walks a decent amount 7.4% rate and only strikes out 13.3% of the time so he may project as a good leadoff man in the big leagues someday. He’s only 19 now though and so I imagine his debut is still a couple of years away, even on a bad team like Houston.
Bottom Line: The bottom line in this deal is that Veras may close again at some point, but he won’t be doing it immediately. In 10 or 12 team leagues he’d probably be droppable. In deeper leagues with a few bench spots maybe you hold on to him and see if Benoit blows up. With the Houston situation I think you have to roll the dice on Cisnero and see what happens. Especially in anything 12 teams or deeper.