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Pirates Sign Jose Veras

The Pirates have signed reliever Jose Veras to a minor-league deal that will pay him a million bucks plus incentives if he sticks with the big-league team, as he probably will. Veras and the Pirates are an excellent match of talent and opportunity. Veras is a bit wild, but he throws hard and has more than enough strikeout ability to be a good reliever when he's on his game. And the Pirates don't really have much of a bullpen beyond Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek and Chris Resop, so Veras could well see a lot of duty in the sixth and seventh innings of close games.

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Actually, it's a bit of a mystery why Veras couldn't get a major-league deal in the first place. He isn't old, has a 97 MPH fastball, and has been pretty good in the big leagues and dominant in the minors. Spending much of his career with the Yankees and Marlins probably hasn't helped him. In the eyes of many Yankees fans, there's no amount of good work that can't be undone by one poor week. And no one really cares what anybody does in a Marlins uniform. In any case, it looks like the Pirates are getting a potentially important part of their 2011 bullpen for almost nothing.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.