Results tagged ‘ free agent ’

Veras would like to return to Houston; Astros in on Morse

Free agent pitcher Jose Veras, who served as the Astros closer the first half of the season, said Tuesday his agent has been talking to Houston about a possible return to the Astros.

Veras, who lives in Miami, told MLB.com he would be thrilled to come back to the Astros, who signed him to a one-year deal a year ago and then traded him to Detroit in July. Veras saved 19 games for the Astros last year and posted a 2.93 ERA with 44 strikeouts and 14 walks in 43 innings.

“It feels like family there,” Veras said. “It’s a young team and they’re hungry to win. I feel part of the team. I doesn’t matter to me if we won or lose. When you play as a team and everybody cares, that’s the best part for me. I do my job to make the tam excited we won the game.

“It was my first time to get an opportunity to be a closer, and I appreciated that part. It felt like the best place I’ve been. I was talking to my agent and I feel excited the Astros are interested to bring me back to the team.”

The Astros have added Chad Qualls to their bullpen but would like to sign one more reliever. They’ve talked to the representatives of Jesse Crain, a Houston resident, and Chad Gaudin.

Meanwhile, a source told MLB.com the Astros have been talking with the agent for free agent outfielder/first baseman Mike Morse, who has a history with manager Bo Porter in Washington. Morse, 31, hit .215 with 23 homers and 27 RBIs in only 88 games split between the Mariners and Orioles last year and is two years removed from slugging 31 homers for Washington in 2011.

– Brian McTaggart

Furcal returns to Cardinals

Rafael Furcal, a key player to the Cardinals down the stretch in their 2011 World Series championship run, has re-upped with St. Louis on a two-year deal on Saturday.

A baseball source confirmed to MLB.com that the deal is worth $14 million.

The 34-year-old Furcal was sent over to the Cards from the Dodgers in a Trade Deadline deal and hit .255 with a .316 on-base percentage in 50 regular-season games with his new club. Furcal had a rough time at the plate in the playoffs, hitting below .200 in both the National League Championship Series and World Series.

About to enter his 13th Major League season, Furcal is a lifetime .282 hitter with a .348 on-base percentage. He’s twice been an All-Star.

Barmes longshot to return to Houston

Veteran infielder Clint Barmes, who filled a void at shortstop for the Astros last season, is unlikely to return to Houston. The Astros would like to have him back and Barmes isn’t averse to returning, but Houston is rebuilding and isn’t prepared to take on a larger salary as it awaits a transfer of ownership.

“I talked to his agent a couple of weeks ago and told him we would really like to have him here, but I just don’t know if it’s going to work in our situation,” Astros general manager Ed Wade said.

Barry Meister, who represents Barmes, understands the Astros will have to wait until the ownership issues gets resolved before making a run at free agents.

“I had talked to the Astros before free agency started and they indicated, as we all know, they have some issues they have to deal,” Meister said. “Ed and I have a good relationship, but there are issues of ownership.”

The Astros have until Nov. 23 to decide if they’re going to offer salary arbitration to Barmes, who’s a Type B free agent. He would have to sign with another team before Nov. 23 or reject the Astros’ offer of arbitration in order for the Astros to get a compensatory pick in next year’s First-Year Player Draft. He has until Dec. 7 to accept or reject arbitration.

Barmes, who was traded to the Astros a year ago and made $3.92 million this year, will have no shortage of suitors, Meister said.

“I think there’s going to be a significant market for him,” he said. “He’s not averse to coming back to Houston, but when they’re ready to talk about that, we’re ready to so the same.”

Barmes hit .244 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs last season with the Astros after missing the first few weeks with a broken hand suffered in Spring Training.

Brian McTaggart

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