Three Tigers relievers have accumulated more than one save this season, and those ranks may grow by one with the acquisition of veteran righthanded reliever Jose Veras from the Astros. Detroit agreed to send 19-year-old prospect Danry Vasquez, a left fielder at low Class A West Michigan, plus a player to be named to Houston for Veras’ services.
Update: The Astros acquired 19-year-old righthander David Paulino on Sept. 13 to complete the deal.
Veras joins a Tigers late-innings corps that includes veteran Joaquin Benoit and big league sophomre Drew Smyly. His acquisition takes some of the pressure off electric-armed, 22-year-old rookie Bruce Rondon, who has logged an 11-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 12 appearances since his June 29 recall.
Danry Vasquez, lf
Age: 19 Bats: L
Career Transactions: Signed as international free agent by Tigers, July 2, 2010
The Tigers had scouted Vasquez in Venezuela since he was 14, so they felt comfortable signing him for $1.2 million when he turned 16 in 2010. A tall, lean, lefthanded batter, he shows excellent control of the barrel, which is evident in his low strikeout rate (13 percent of plate appearances) and .281 average this season at West Michigan. Vasquez doesn’t hit for much power at this stage, and he may need to add mass to his frame and loft to his line-drive swing to meet the home run standard required for everyday work in left field. He grades out as below-average in the speed, range and arm strength departments, so his future rides entirely on the development of his bat.
David Paulino, rhp
Career Transactions: Signed as international free agent by Tigers, Sept. 28, 2010
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in September 2010, Paulino has thrown 39 innings in three pro seasons. He had Tommy John surgery prior to this trade, but Houston liked his upside enough to acquire him, rehab him and get him back on the mound late in 2014. The Astros see a projectable 6-foot-5 righty with good stuff and a high ceiling. Paulino sits in the low 90s and touches 96 mph while showing a feel to spin a breaking ball that could develop into a plus weapon.
Jose Veras, rhp
Remaining Commitment: Prorated portion of $2 million salary for 2013, then a $3.25 million club option for 2014. Details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.