Astros acquire outfielder for Veras
The Astros have acquired outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named later from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for right-handed pitcher Jose Veras.
Vasquez, 19, has spent the 2013 season at Class A West Michigan where he has hit .281 (105-for-374) with 16 doubles, five triples, five homers and 39 RBIs in 96 games. He is currently ranked by MLB.com as the Tigers’ No. 4 prospect and will report to Class A Quad Cities.
“There was some significant interest in Veras,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “Obviously, he’s been successful in the bullpen and we’re going to miss him. Really, I felt like this was an opportunity to improve our organization as a whole for a player who can help a playoff-contending team.
“I really like the player we got back. I’ve been following him since he was an international free agent, and he’s at the A ball level and you plug him into Quad Cities with [Rio] Ruiz, [Carlos] Correa and the pitchers there, it’s a pretty formidable group there and pretty exciting. He’s young and has a tremendous upside. He has the potential to be hit in the middle of the lineup.”
Veras signed with the Astros during the off-season and went 0-4 with a 2.93 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 2013. He recorded 19 saves in 22 opportunities, including 11 in a row. The trade leaves the Astros with a huge void at closer in a bullpen that was already struggling to protect leads.
“There’s an opportunity in our bullpen for guys to step and take advantage of the opportunity that presents itself,” Luhnow said. “We’ll see. You can never tell how someone is going to react in the ninth inning until they’re in that situation. There are guys who have the ability to do it. They’ll have an opportunity for sure.”
With the trade deadline coming Wednesday, the Astros could still deal starting pitcher Bud Norris, but nothing is imminent.
“There’s nothing close at this point, but we still have two and a half days to go and still a lot of activity could happen, even though nothing’s close,” Luhnow said.