Well, the hope of getting a return from the Carlos Quentin trade is fading fast.
Castro made four appearances for the Sox in July, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks over 6⅔ innings. His fastball showed a lot of life, but his slider spun on him more often not, so he probably lucked out to escape with a 2.70 ERA. Still, when he returned to Charlotte at the All-Star break, it seemed likely that we would see him in September.
Then he returned to the Knights bullpen and allowed 19 earned runs over his last 17⅔ innings -- including seven homers -- soooooooo ... so much for that idea.
The outrighting doesn't mean he's out of the picture, but he'll have to earn back his spot. In the meantime, it's a good early sign for guys like Jake Petricka and Daniel Webb, who will enter spring training looking to lock down a job. Both of them have options remaining, so the less out-of-options competition for them, the better, but the winter is young.
The move comes as a surprise both because the Tigers gave up quality prospects to acquire him, trading outfielder Danry Vasquez and pitcher David Paulino for what appeared to be a season and a half of a veteran bullpen arm.
The Tigers could still re-sign him to a lesser deal, but we thought the same thing about Matt Lindstrom, whose option the Sox picked up for $4 million. When stacking up their 2013 stats, the numbers seem to favor Veras across most of the board:
On Twtter, @daycri83 asked me if this meant the Sox paid a little too much for their muffler. It's impossible to make a confident conclusion about a market from two players, but it's worth monitoring what happens to Veras from here. Perhaps the Tigers could re-sign him for a little less money, although it seems like they'll be hard-pressed to beat $3.125 million. Or perhaps the Tigers grew disenchanted with Veras for one reason or another and David Ortiz's grand slam in the ALCS was the last straw.
Or, maybe they think it'll be a buyer's market for the bullpen. That's not necessarily out of the question, although Joe Nathan will be testing that theory. He declined the Rangers' $9 million option, and is in the hunt for a multi-year deal.