TODAY, 11:18am: The value of the option declined by the Tigers was actually $4MM, tweets FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Because Veras finished 42 games, he added $750k to the base $3.25MM option price.
Veras finished 45 games last year, seven of which came with Detroit. Though only two of those game-finishing appearances for the Tigers resulted in saves, it does not appear that he was the last man on the hill for any true blow-outs. However, the $750k bump probably could have been avoided: the escalator-triggering appearance came the day after the Tigers clinched the division. In his final outing of the regular season, Veras came on in the eighth with a one-run deficit and earned the GF when the Tigers failed to score in the ninth.
YESTERDAY, 1:45pm: The Tigers announced that they have declined their $3.25MM option on right-hander Jose Veras in favor of a $150K buyout.
The decision to buy out Veras' option is somewhat of a surprise, given his solid overall numbers on the season and the Tigers' prolonged bullpen struggles over the season. Veras enjoyed the finest season of his career in 2013, pitching to a 3.02 ERA with 8.6 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 41.8 percent ground-ball rate. He signed a one-year deal with the Astros to be their closer but found himself traded to the Tigers in a deadline deal that netted the Astros outfield prospect Danry Vasquez and hard-throwing but injured relief prospect David Paulino.
For the Tigers, Veras excelled in 19 2/3 innings, totaling a 3.20 ERA with 16 strikeouts against seven unintentional walks. He was solid in his lone ALDS appearance but also has the dubious distinction of being the pitcher who came in with the bases loaded and surrendered a crushing grand slam to Shane Victorino in Game 6 of the ALCS.
With Veras (somewhat surprisingly) on the market, there are now eight relievers available who saved at least 21 games in 2013: Veras, Joe Nathan, Grant Balfour, Fernando Rodney, Joaquin Benoit Chris Perez, Edward Mujica and Kevin Gregg, not to mention longtime closer Brian Wilson, who returned with the Dodgers and dominated in a setup capacity.