The Detroit Tigers have declined the $3.25 million option on relief pitcher Jose Veras, the team announced Friday. The 33-year-old right-hander will now become a free agent. He will also collect a $150,000 buyout for having his option declined.
The Tigers acquired Veras from the Houston Astros on July 29 in exchange for two minor league players. He was added to shore up a bullpen which was considered the main weakness on an otherwise championship-level team, and posted a solid 3.20 ERA in 19⅔ inning of relief for Detroit down the stretch. In the postseason, he allowed two runs in five combined innings against the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox.
The Tigers will have some work to do on their bullpen this winter. Their relief corps posted a 4.01 ERA in 2013, which ranked 24th in the majors, and they now stand to lose both Veras and closer Joaquin Benoit, who is also a free agent. Veterans Octavio Dotel and Jeremy Bonderman are also free agents, but the pair combined for only 21⅓ innings last season.