Right-hander Jose Veras has limited experience as a major-league closer — just five saves in 17 opportunities.
But the Houston Astros, who signed Veras to a one-year, $2 million free-agent contract on Friday, plan to give him a chance to pitch in the ninth inning.
Veras’ contract, in fact, includes a series of “games finished” clauses that would increase his earnings significantly if he becomes the 2013 version of Fernando Rodney.
Such a development isn’t likely — Veras must prove that he can succeed in the role, and the Astros do not figure to be as good as the Tampa Bay Rays were last season.
Still, as a closer, Veras would stand to earn not just his $1.85 million base salary in ’13, but also as much as $500,000 in incentives based on games finished.
His deal also includes a $3.25 million club option or $150,000 buyout for ’14 — and the size of the option can increase to between $4 million and $5.5 million based on games finished, with Veras again eligible to receive $500,000 in incentives.
Veras, 32, spent last season with the Milwaukee Brewers, producing a 3.63 ERA in 72 appearances. It was the third straight season in which he produced a sub-4.00 ERA.
— Ken Rosenthal