The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed relief pitcher Jose Veras to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (link in Spanish). If Veras makes the majors, he will receive a $1 M salary, with $500 K in possible incentives. He will make $15,000 a month in the minors, which amounts to about $100 K over the course of the season.
Veras is 6′ 6″, 235 pounds, and has pitched 176.1 innings in the majors. He has a 4.24 ERA, with a strong 8.7 K/9 ratio, although he’s struggled with control, with a 5.0 BB/9 ratio. In 2010 he pitched 48 innings in the Florida Marlins’ bullpen, with a 3.75 ERA, a 10.1 K/9, and a 5.4 BB/9 ratio. Despite the walks, Veras manages to put up good numbers, thanks to a low OBA, with a career .220 mark, and a .191 in 2010. He is a hard thrower, with a fastball that averaged 94.3 MPH in 2010.
Veras 3.127 years of service time. He was non-tendered by Florida on December 2nd, as he would have been eligible for arbitration, which likely would have put him in the $1 M range. If he makes it to the majors in 2011, he would have at least three years of control with the Pirates, including the 2011 season. It’s unlikely that he fixes his control issues at this point in his career, although he would be a strong middle reliever if he maintains his low OBA.