CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs and right-handed pitcher Jose Veras have agreed to terms on a 2014 contract with a club option for the 2015 campaign. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Veras, 33, combined to go 0-5 with 21 saves and a 3.02 ERA (21 ER/62.2 IP) in 67 relief appearances between Houston and Detroit last season. The righthander struck out 60 batters and walked only 22 in 62.2 innings pitched to go along with a 1.07 WHIP and a .199 opponents batting average against. Veras began the season with Houston and posted a 2.93 ERA (14 ER/43.0 IP) and 19 saves in 42 outings before his trade to Detroit, where he recorded nine holds, two saves and a 3.20 ERA (7 ER/19.2 IP) in 25 appearances to help the Tigers to the postseason.
The 6-foot-6, 242-pound Veras enjoyed a breakout campaign with Pittsburgh in 2011 when he ranked fifth in the National League with 27 holds in a career-best 79 appearances. Veras went 5-4 with one save, 11 holds and a 3.63 ERA (27 ER/67.0 IP) in 72 outings for Milwaukee in 2012 before serving primarily as a closer with Houston and set-up man with Detroit in 2013. He was also a member of the 2013 World Baseball Classic Dominican Republic club. Since the start of the 2011 campaign, Veras is tied for fifth in the majors with 218 appearances.
Veras was originally signed by Tampa Bay as a 17-year-old non-drafted free agent out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1998 and made his major league debut with the Yankees in 2006. He was traded from the Yankees (2006-09) to the Indians midway through the 2009 campaign before pitching with the Marlins (2010), Pirates (2011), Brewers (2012), Astros (2013) and Tigers (2013).
Overall in all or part of eight major league seasons, Veras has gone 19-22 with 84 holds, 26 saves and a 3.84 ERA (161 ER/377.0 IP) in 394 appearances, all in relief. He has averaged more than a strikeout per inning pitched in his career (388 strikeouts in 377.0 innings pitched) and limited foes to a .216 batting average against, including a comparable .214 mark by right-handed hitters and a .218 mark by left-handed hitters.