The Chicago Cubs have agreed to sign reliever Jose Veras to a one-year, $4 million contract that includes a $5.5 million team option for 2015, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com. He can earn an additional $750K based on the amount of games finished in 2014, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Reports indicate that Veras is likely to close for the Cubs in 2014, but some speculate that Pedro Strop could also compete for the job. Veras was the Astros' closer for the beginning of the 2013 season, but was ultimately relegated to a setup role once he was traded to the Tigers before the trade deadline.
Veras had strong interest in returning to Houston, and had offers in hand from the Astros and Mariners before signing with the Cubs, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. The Rockies also expressed some interest before adding Boone Logan and LaTroy Hawkins, but the opportunity to close for the Cubs was likely the most attractive option available.
In 67 innings with the Astros and Tigers in 2013, Veras recorded a 3.02 ERA and 21 saves in 62.2 innings. Over his eight-year major league career with the Yankees (2006-2009), Indians (2009), Marlins (2010), Pirates (2011), Brewers (2012), Astros (2013) and Tigers (2013), he has a lifetime 19-22 record and 3.84 record in 377 innings of work.