Already having added Luke Gregerson, the Astros announced on Friday the signing of fellow right-handed reliever Pat Neshek. The client of Meister Sports Management receives a $12.5MM guarantee over two years, with an option for a third.
The side-armer was already a great story before his 2014 campaign, but the tale only improved after he dominated the league after joining the Cardinals on a minor league deal. Neshek posted a 1.87 ERA with 9.1 K/9 against a paltry 1.2 BB/9 over 67 1/3 frames in St. Louis.
True, Neshek had logged productive campaigns in the past, at least in terms of results. But the true breakout for the now-34-year-old came in the peripherals. In addition to that sterling K/BB ratio, Neshek registered a 2.37 FIP, 3.29 xFIP, and 2.55 SIERA in 2014, suggesting that his run prevention was no fluke.
Whether he can maintain that level of performance going forward remains to be seen, of course. Most concerning, perhaps, is the fact that Neshek benefited last year from unseasonable HR/FB and BABIP numbers (both against league and his career averages). But that’s a reasonable risk to take given the dominating ceiling he has now established.
MLBTR’s Steve Adams explained his case for a two-year, $10MM prediction in his free agent profile of Neshek back in October. Neshek topped that by a not-insignificant margin, and will surely feel confident that he did not leave any money on the table in his best chance at a big payday.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today had the first report on Twitter. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweeted that agreement was struck. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the financial terms on Twitter, with Brian McTaggart of MLB.com tweeting that the deal includes an option. ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reported the full salary breakdown (Twitter links).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.