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MLB trades: Tigers bolster bullpen with addition of Houston's Jose Veras

Published July 29, 2013 8:55 pm

MLB • Detroit's relievers have been inconsistent this year.
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The Detroit Tigers added some help for their shaky bullpen Monday, acquiring reliever Jose Veras from the Houston Astros for minor league outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named.

Veras is 0-4 with a 2.93 ERA and 19 saves this season, and the 32-year-old right-hander has struck out 44 in 43 innings with only 14 walks.

"We are pleased to add an experienced arm to our bullpen," Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "Jose can pitch in a variety of roles, provides depth in the bullpen, and complements the roles of Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly."

Detroit entered the season with a lot of uncertainty at the closer spot, and although Benoit has pitched well in that role of late, the AL Central-leading Tigers still needed bullpen depth. Aside from Benoit and Smyly, none of their other relievers have been all that effective on a consistent basis.

Veras has been a steady contributor while bouncing from team to team in recent years. He posted a 3.75 ERA with Florida in 2010, a 3.80 ERA with Pittsburgh in 2011 and a 3.63 ERA with Milwaukee last season.

Houston signed him to a one-year deal last offseason, and the last-place Astros could certainly afford to trade their closer if the opportunity to acquire a solid prospect presented itself. Vasquez is only 19, but he was ranked by Baseball America as the sixth-best prospect in Detroit's system before this season.

Rays acquire Crain from White Sox

The Tampa Bay Rays acquired injured reliever Jesse Crain from the Chicago White Sox on Monday in an attempt to bolster their bullpen for the AL East stretch run.

The White Sox will receive players to be named or cash for Crain, a 32-year-old right-hander who is 2-3 with a 1.15 ERA in 38 appearances. He was placed on the disabled list on July 3 with a right shoulder strain.

"Jesse has been one of the top relievers in the American League, not only this season but also throughout his entire tenure with the White Sox," Chicago general manager Rick Hahn said. "We cannot say enough about what Jesse has meant to our bullpen, and the positive impact he's had on our young relievers. We certainly think he has the ability to influence this year's pennant race very positively for the Rays."

Crain is 45-30 with a 3.05 ERA in a 10-year career.