The Cubs have agreed with relief pitcher Jose Veras on a one-year, $4 million contract, according to reports.
The deal reportedly includes a $5.5 million option for 2015, along with incentives.
Without question, Veras, 33, will replace Kevin Gregg as the Cubs closer -- at least at the start of the year. I just wonder if another midseason trade isn't in Veras' future.
Last year, he began the season with the lowly Houston Astros, where he compiled a respectable 2.93 ERA and 19 saves in 42 appearances. Just before the trade deadline, he was sent to the Detroit Tigers for future considerations.
The Tigers hoped Veras would help solidify their bullpen for the playoffs. However, he and everyone else in the Detroit 'pen struggled in an ALCS loss to the Boston Red Sox.
I doubt, however, the rebuilding Cubs are concerned about Veras' playoff performance. I suspect they would like him to perform as he did last year from April to July, so they can flip him to a contender in exchange for minor league talent.
It's a plan we've seen the Cubs execute the last couple years. They've signed pitchers like Paul Maholm and Scott Feldman to team-friendly contracts. They get a decent or good half-season out of them, then trade them in July.
I won't be the least bit surprised if Veras is pitching somewhere other than Chicago when August rolls around.