November 2nd, 2013
It was actually $4 million, not $3.25 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The difference is an escalating bonus clause based on games finished. Veras finished 45 games during the regular season — 38 when he was the Astros closer, then seven more working in more of a setup role for the Tigers. Two of the latter were save chances. Another was an extra-inning loss to the Yankees in August that ended when Brett Gardner homered off of him. The last was his eighth inning of the series opener at Miami, when the Tigers were still trying for the second seed in the AL postseason.
Though some second-guessing might follow for games he finished, let’s be clear: It wasn’t a $750,000 decision. The escalating clause means the bonus likely accumulated in increments for every five games finished after a certain point. So the difference in Veras’ option if he finished 44 games instead of 45 would’ve been smaller.
A $4 million option, especially for a setup reliever, looks a lot different than a $3.25 million option. Does that mean it was the difference in the Tigers’ decision? That part isn’t clear right now, and might not be until Dave Dombrowski talks about the offseason goals.