Jose Veras Rumors

Jose Veras Had Arbitration Hearing

Brewers reliever Jose Veras had his arbitration hearing today, according to the Associated Press.  Veras submitted a $2.375MM figure, while the team went with $2MM.  The decision from arbitrators Dan Brent, Marlene Gold, and John Sands is expected tomorrow.

Veras, 31, posted a 3.80 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 71 innings for the Pirates last year, and was traded to Milwaukee for Casey McGehee in December.  McGehee appears headed for a hearing as well.    


Quick Hits: Veras, Garza, Harper, Playoffs

Some links as Friday turns into Saturday…

  • There has been no progress in contract talks between the Brewers and reliever Jose Veras, reports MLB.com Adam McCalvy. As our Arbitration Tracker shows, the right-hander filed $2.375MM while the team countered with $2MM. Club negotiator Teddy Werner told McCalvy that he expects to return to Florida for a hearing.
  • Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com hears that the Cubs will continue to shop Matt Garza in Spring Training. The two sides avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $9.5MM today, and Knobler says the salary doesn't figure to hurt their chances of moving him.
  • "We'll be cautious yet open-minded," said Nationals GM Mike Rizzo to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com when asked about the possibility of Bryce Harper making the team out of Spring Training. "If he gives us the best chance to win, we'll keep an open mind and see where it takes us."
  • Talks continue between the union and management about expanded playoffs for 2012, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The deadline for resolution is March 1st.

Brewers, Pirates Swap Veras For McGehee

The Brewers acquired right-handed reliever Jose Veras from the Pirates for infielder Casey McGehee, the teams announced. The Brewers agreed to terms with Aramis Ramirez today, which lessens their need for corner infielders. The Pirates, on the other hand, can use the depth at first and third.

Casey McGehee adds a quality option for us at both corner infield positions and adds depth to our position player group,” Pirates GM Neal Huntington said.

Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has struggled to hit lefties in his career (.620 OPS), while McGehee's production against southpaws has been solid (.743 career OPS). The Pirates, who don't have an established first baseman at this point, could also use McGehee at first. Meanwhile, Veras provides Milwaukee with depth in a bullpen that has become quite right-handed.

Both players are arbitration eligible this offseason. Veras projects to earn $2.5MM in 2011, while McGehee projects to earn $3.1MM. Veras, 31, posted a 3.80 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 71 innings for the Pirates in 2011. McGehee, 29, posted a .223/.280/.346 line with 13 home runs in 600 plate appearances.



Non-Tenders Contributing With New Teams

Every winter teams non-tender players when they would rather risk losing them to another team than go through the potentially expensive arbitration process. Most non-tenders don’t come back to haunt their former clubs, but they definitely have the potential to do so.

Teams non-tendered over 50 players last offseason and a handful of them have added value for new organizations. Here’s a breakdown of which 2010 non-tenders are contributing in 2011:

Outfielders

  • Tony Gwynn Jr., Dodgers (non-tendered by Padres) – Gwynn has a .255/.312/.333 line with 15 stolen bases in 252 plate appearances for the Dodgers and has played all three outfield positions.
  • Scott Hairston, Mets (non-tendered by Padres) – Hairston has a robust .264/.331/.527 line with seven homers in a part-time role for the Mets.

Infielders

  • Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays (technically non-tendered by Athletics) – Encarnacion has a .277/.326/.446 line this year, including an .894 OPS since June 1st.

Catchers

  • Ronny Paulino, Mets (non-tendered by Marlins) – Paulino has been a serviceable part-time backstop for the Mets, posting a .293/.328/.374 line in 187 trips to the plate.
  • Russell Martin, Yankees (non-tendered by Dodgers) – Martin has 12 homers and a .228/.324/.383 line in 349 plate appearances. He's tenth among all MLB catchers with 2.1 wins above replacement.

Right-Handed Relievers

  • Matt Albers, Red Sox (non-tendered by Orioles) – The right-hander has a 2.31 ERA with 9.1 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 46 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. Albers is easily having his best season yet and all he cost was $875K. He's under team control through 2013.
  • Todd Coffey, Nationals (non-tendered by Brewers) – The big righty has a 4.40 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 45 innings so far in 2011. The numbers are solid, but not so good that the Brewers have much to second-guess themselves on.
  • Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox (non-tendered by Yankees) – Aceves has a 3.18 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 76 1/3 innings as a swingman for the Red Sox this year. Considering the injuries the Boston pitching staff has sustained, you could argue that Aceves has been one of their best offseason additions.
  • Jose Veras, Pirates (non-tendered by Marlins) – Veras has a 3.19 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 53 2/3 innings this year and has been a key weapon in Clint Hurdle's bullpen.
  • Dustin Moseley, Padres (non-tendered by Yankees) – Moseley has a 3.30 ERA with 4.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 20 starts. Now on the DL, Moseley has completed a career-high 120 innings.
  • Taylor Buchholz, Mets (technically non-tendered by Red Sox) – When healthy, Buchholz has been effective, posting a 3.12 ERA with a 26K/7BB ratio in 26 innings. He has been on the disabled list since June.
  • Joel Peralta, Rays (non-tendered by Nationals) – The 35-year-old leads the American League in appearances (55) and has a 3.68 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 after 51 1/3 innings in Tampa Bay.

Left-Handed Relievers

  • George Sherrill, Braves (non-tendered by Dodgers) – Sherrill has a 3.38 ERA with a 36K/11BB ratio in 32 innings for his new club. He has mostly faced left-handed hitters.

Non-Tenders Contributing With New Teams

Every winter teams non-tender players when they would rather risk losing them to another team than go through the potentially expensive arbitration process. In 2010, for example, Matt Capps and Kelly Johnson rewarded their new teams with standout years after being cut loose, though most non-tenders don’t make that kind of contribution.

Teams non-tendered over 50 players last offseason and a handful of them are already proving their worth with new organizations. Here’s a breakdown of which 2010 non-tenders are exceeding expectations in 2011:

Starting Pitchers

  • Dustin Moseley, Padres (non-tendered by Yankees) – The 29-year-old leads the league with six losses, but he's been much more effective than his record would indicate. Moseley has a 3.40 ERA with 4.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 through 53 frames.

Right-Handed Relievers

  • Joel Peralta, Rays (non-tendered by Nationals) – Unlike most non-tenders, Peralta was effective last year. After 22 1/3 innings in the Rays' revamped bullpen, he's looking like a smart, low-risk addition. Peralta has a 2.82 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
  • Taylor Buchholz, Mets (though Buchholz has never thrown a pitch for Boston, the Red Sox were technically the ones to non-tender him) – Buchholz is looking a lot like his 2008 self through 21 2/3 innings in the Mets' 'pen. The 29-year-old has a 1.66 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.
  • Jose Veras, Pirates (non-tendered by Marlins) – Veras has 26 strikeouts and a 3.06 ERA through 17 2/3 innings. Veras' 13.2 K/9 is seventh-best among MLB relievers this year and few pitchers beat his 94 mph average fastball by much.
  • Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox (non-tendered by Yankees) – The Red Sox need him more than ever with two members of their Opening Day rotation on the shelf. So far, Aceves has a 2.60 ERA with 4.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 17 1/3 innings.
  • Todd Coffey, Nationals (non-tendered by Brewers) – Coffey, who added value in 2009-10, has a 2.30 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 15 2/3 innings.
  • Matt Albers, Red Sox (non-tendered by Orioles) – Though Bobby Jenks was the most prominent non-tender who signed with Boston this winter, Albers may be the most impressive. He has a 1.65 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 52.3% ground ball rate through 16 1/3 innings.

Left-Handed Relievers

  • George Sherrill, Braves (non-tendered by Dodgers) – After a poor showing with the Dodgers in 2010, Sherrill is adding value again. He has raised his strikeout rate (10.2 K/9), lowered his walk rate (4.7 BB/9) and has allowed just seven hits and two earned runs in 9 2/3 innings, mostly against left-handed hitters.

Position Players

  • Russell Martin, Yankees (non-tendered by Dodgers) – Arguably the biggest success story of all, Martin drew interest from a number of AL East teams before signing with the Yankees. He has a .261/.362/.479 line and leads qualified MLB catchers in home runs (7), on-base percentage (.362), wOBA (.380) and WAR (1.5). It’s a win-win, as Martin got $4MM in guaranteed money and a fresh start, while the Yankees get a top catcher who’s under team control through 2012. With Jack Cust, Matt Diaz and others off to slow starts, Martin is the lone non-tendered position player making an impact so far this year.

Pirates To Sign Jose Veras

The Pirates have agreed to sign Jose Veras to a minor league deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (Spanish link).  The reliever will earn a base of $1MM plus incentives if he makes the big league roster, Rojas tweets.  Otherwise, the veteran will make $15K each month in the minors.

Earlier this week we learned that six different clubs offered the right-hander a minor league deal.  Ultimately, Veras chose the Pirates over opportunities with the Giants, Rockies, Twins, Marlins, and Rays. 

Veras, 30, registered a 3.85 ERA with 10.1 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 48 innings for the Marlins last year.  Florida opted to non-tender him in early December.


Six Clubs Offer Jose Veras Minor League Deals

The Giants, Rockies, Twins, Marlins, Rays and Pirates have all offered Jose Veras minor league deals and invited him to Spring Training, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes (on Twitter). The 30-year-old right-hander will likely decide on a team soon.

Veras posted a 3.85 ERA with 10.1 K/9 and 5.4 BB/9 in 48 innings for the Marlins last year, before they non-tendered him. Veras has been tough to hit throughout his five-year MLB career, but he has always allowed plenty of walks (5.0 BB/9 in his career). His mid-90s fastball (94.4 mph last year) has helped him strike out 8.7 batters per nine in his career.


National League Non-Tenders

This post will list all the National League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.


James Houser Clears Waivers

WEDNESDAY: Houser was outrighted to Triple A New Orleans, according to the Marlins via Twitter.

FRIDAY: The Marlins designated James Houser for assignment and called up Jose Veras, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter). The Marlins have cut three left-handers this week: Houser, Renyel Pinto (released) and Hunter Jones (released). Houser's replacement is no stranger to the DFA; the Marlins designated Veras in April.

Houser, 25, appeared in one game for the Marlins this year. He allowed three runs in 1.1 innings in the Marlins' loss to the Orioles last night. Veras, a 29-year-old righty, struggled through four early-season appearances with the Marlins, but has since posted a 4.60 ERA with 11.4 K/9 in 24 appearances at Triple A.

The Marlins' search for relievers has led them to Armando Benitez, who pitched a scoreless inning in Triple A last night after signing yesterday.


Odds & Ends: Penn, Veras, Beimel, Mientkiewicz

Links for Friday…