Last night, MLB.com’s Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy tweeted that Jose Veras had elected free agency following his removal from the team’s 40-man roster by way of an outrighting to the minor leagues.
This confused me a little bit because despite Veras’ propensity to walk batters (40 in 2012 in 67.0 IP for a BB/9 rate of 5.4) and his maddening inability at times to retire the first batter he faced upon entering a game, he pitched very strongly down the stretch in terms of runs allowed (14 September appearances, zero runs). That, to me, means that he must have at least a sliver of trade value despite the market for relief pitchers being kind of inundated with arms already.
Shortly after, McCalvy clarified his tweet with additional information which stated that Veras’ agent indicated that the veteran bullpen pitcher was, indeed, outrighted and was planning on electing free agency should he clear waivers.
Basically that means that the Brewers are still within the standard time frame of the waiver process which could allow them to trade Veras for some kind of small return. Hopefully a team in need of a middle reliever will give up something of value, though I wouldn’t hold my breath expecting much.
Veras was due for a raise as he is eligible for salary arbitration this off-season. He made a reported $2 million for the 2012 season. So, while the Brewers could technically re-sign Veras as a free agent, if they weren’t willing to negotiate against he production/comps/previous salary, it’s unlikely that they’d be able to reach what he would deem to be an acceptable contract.
He finishes his tour in Milwaukee with a 5-4 record, 1 Save, and 79 strikeouts, while surrendering 61 hits, 29 runs (27 of which were earned), and allowing five home runs and 40 walks in 67.0 innings pitched over 72 appearances.