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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