Right-hander Jose Veras has made his desire to return to the Astros a known fact this offseason, and the former Houston closer tells Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle that the ’Stros are indeed one of four clubs to whom he is currently speaking.
Veras excelled as Houston’s closer in 2013, pitching to a 2.93 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 43 first-half innings before being traded to the Tigers that July. Veras pitched reasonably well down the stretch but, to the surprise of some, had his option bought out by the Tigers and again tested the open market.
Last winter, on the heels of his strong 2013, Veras signed a one-year, $4MM contract with the Cubs. However, he struggled tremendously in Chicago, allowing 12 runs in 13 1/3 innings before being released and latching back on with the Astros, where he again pitched quite well. All told, he has a 2.97 ERA with an 81-to-30 K/BB ratio between his two seasons with Houston.
Veras tells Drellich that he made a “mistake” by leaving Houston in the first place, considering how much he enjoyed his time there, and he’s willing to return in any role: “I’m available to do anything. Be it closer, throw the eighth, throw the seventh. I just want to be on the team (where) I feel like a family, like I feel here. That all these guys respect me, I respect them, I love them, even though we don’t win 100 games like we maybe want to do.”