Phillies Acquire Solid Bullpen Arm

In the first significant move of the Phillies’ offseason, Matt Klentak acquired reliever Pat Neshek in a trade with the Houston Astros. The Phillies immediately exercised the 2017 team option in Neshek’s contract for a reported $6.5 million. Packing their bags for Houston are either a PTBNL or cash considerations, which is baseball parlance for “who cares?”

Neshek is a solid, albeit unspectacular reliever, which is why he’s of little interest to the Astros and of much interest to the Phillies. Consider the following table, displaying the collective efforts of the Phillies’ 2016 bullpen next to the current projection for Neshek.

Phillies Bullpen (2016) 8.7 3.7 1.4 5.05 4.57
Pat Neshek Projection 8.8 2.2 1.2 3.59 3.77

In similar fashion to the Jeremy Hellickson trade last year, Klentak struck early to start filling an area that has multiple holes, this time the bullpen. The savvy move gives the team a steady late inning option, but without committing the years and dollars a similar player might cost on the open market. At present, Neshek becomes the team’s biggest salary commitment on the expected 25 man roster, and another quiet step in the Phillies’ return to competence.

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  1. dCmay

    November 05, 2016 03:21 AM

    Sly as a fox Matt Klentak. Next move a package of young players to
    LAA for the big fish trout!

    • Steve

      November 05, 2016 05:23 PM

      Moves like that will not speed up the rebuild. This team has way too many holes to to trade multiple top prospects for one player, even though he is fantastic. Id much rather pay a butt load for a top FA then trade away 4-5 top prospects.

      • Ned

        November 05, 2016 08:35 PM

        If he pitches fairly well, he can be flipped at the deadline – what’s there not to like?.

      • Steve

        November 06, 2016 01:34 AM

        Trout isnt a pitcher, and you dont give a huge package for him just to flip him later…..
        The Neshek move looks solid.

  2. Milton T

    November 05, 2016 08:07 AM

    Seems to be a worthwhile gamble. I was thinking that the Phillies ought to enter the bidding for Hellickson after locking up the rights to compensation should he get chosen by another team. This guy can be the one veteran who helps the kids grow up for let’s say the next three years. He reminds me in a way of Jamie Moyer. You look at him and wonder how he gets anyone out with his stuff and all of a sudden, it is the seventh inning and you are ahead 3 -2 when you lift him for a finish by the relievers. Perhaps an offer of $42 M over 3 years might be enough to lock him in. Other teams would have to sacrifice a first round draft choice to get him.

    • Romus

      November 05, 2016 08:18 AM

      Milton…I believe if the Phillies offer the QO to Hellickson in two days, he refuses, then goes on the open market, and then resigns with the Phillies…then the Phillies cannot put him on their 25-active roster until May 15th. Then I assume, after a few weeks of ‘spring training’ he may start his first game in June.
      I think that is what the current CBA provision calls for QOs.
      I think Spencer B. had said he was going to check that out for validity.

      • Moose

        November 05, 2016 08:41 AM

        I don’t believe this is correct. I can’t think of his name off the top of my head, but I seem to remember a player turning down a QO last year or the year before and then quickly signing back with the team. This isn’t strong evidence without names, but I believe it is accurate.

      • Romus

        November 05, 2016 08:59 AM

        Moose…thanks….the only thing I see that comes close to mentioning that is…”When a team re-signs a player that has previously declined a qualifying offer from that team, no draft forfeiture or compensation takes place”
        …nothing mentioned on the date he becomes active…..I saw something about it somewhere but cannot remember now.

      • Romus

        November 05, 2016 01:09 PM

        Moose…….maybe it is June 15th ilo of May 15th.
        (5) Miscellaneous (a) Any Club signing a contract with a Player under this Section B (former club) after the expiration of the Quiet Period described in subsection 2(b) above may not assign his contract until after the next June 15. However, notwithstanding the foregoing, such contract may be assigned for other Player contracts and/or cash consideration of $50,000 or less prior to the next June 16 if the Player gives written consent to such transaction.
        …page 90.
        But this is the old CBA which has officially expired this month sometime.

    • Romus

      November 05, 2016 08:21 AM

      Milton…also Scott Boras would probably not settle for 3@$42M…I think he will go for 5@$90M.
      The QO this year is $17.2M….so he will ask for an AAV of $17 or $18M per.

      • Steve

        November 05, 2016 05:36 PM

        Boras may try but I just dont see him getting that. This was his best year since his rookie season and he was inconsistant at best all the years in between.
        IMO if he want the security of multi-year deal, hes going to have to sacrifice the AAV. I could maybe see 4 years 60 mil with an option, but I wouldnt want the Phils make that deal.

  3. Phil Matilsky

    November 05, 2016 01:47 PM

    Nice pick-up……will help in the sixth to seventh inning range… him for a song…..Klentak has a knack for this.

  4. Andrew R.

    November 05, 2016 08:13 PM

    I think we offer Hellickson the QO and let him walk. We are still in the rebuild and grabbing the extra pick, while continuing to take fliers in mediocre, bounce back guys.

    Hellickson had a nice year. But what are the odds he continues that for 3-4 years, especially at CBP? Let’s walk away winners while we still have that chance.

    • Steve

      November 06, 2016 01:44 AM

      Thats absolutely the play. It will be very disappointing if they dont extend a QO.

    • Bob

      November 06, 2016 06:39 PM

      I think the odds are good that Hellickson pitches the same for the next three or four years. It’s not like he had some break out season with the Phillies. He pitched to about what he typically does. Hellickson was a little, but not a lot, better than as projected.

  5. tenlongyears

    November 06, 2016 05:43 AM

    Just playing bored offseason armchair GM here. What about a Darin Ruf for Derek Holland trade? It gives Texas an inexpensive option at 1B/DH since they lost Fielder for good and Mitch Moreland is a free agent. Figure Ruf’s days as a Phillie were numbered anyways with the 40 Man Roster crunch coming up. It gives the Phillies the buy low Hellickson trade candidate type.

    • Romus

      November 06, 2016 08:47 AM

      Sounds like a good idea.
      Ruf is under control for a few more years, arb eligible this year.
      One issue, heard rumblings he may be wanting to head for Japan.
      Also not sure Phillies were going to protect him on their 40 which has to be finalized by Friday the 18th.

      • Jerry Spradlin

        November 06, 2016 09:47 AM

        Agreed-highly doubtful Ruf stays on the 40, given the amount of young guys who they need to protect to keep them from Rule 5 draft exposure. And, the Phils have the right-handed hitter who they will play at first next year-Joseph. I’d take anything for Ruf in the next two weeks.

      • Romus

        November 06, 2016 10:32 AM

        Jerry….and all the GMs know the score also, as Klentak knows about other ‘bubble ‘players on other rosters. They will just wait it out until after the GM and winter meetings.

      • Jerry Spradlin

        November 06, 2016 02:12 PM

        I agree Roma’s, and that is why would take anything because, as you point out, in two weeks he is likely gone for nothing. I’m guessing the only chance we have to get anything for Ruf is a team that wants to get a jump on signing him before he hits the open market, and even that is a reach.

    • Bob

      November 06, 2016 06:42 PM

      Holland’s best year was 2013 when his FB velo was 93.4. The past two years it’s been like 90.7 and his K rate has fallen off the table from 7/9 to 5/9. I’m not high on a pitcher who isn’t a 7/9 guy

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