Free agent reliever Pat Neshek is officially back with the Phillies just four months after being traded to the Rockies. The Phillies on Friday announced a two-year deal with the free-agent righty, who will reportedly be guaranteed $16.25MM in the pact. The contract also comes with a club option for a third year.
Neshek, a client of Meister Sports Management, will reportedly receive a $4MM signing bonus in addition to salaries of $5.75MM in both 2018 and 2019. The option is said to be valued at $7MM and comes with a $750K buyout. The deal also includes a $500K assignment bonus in the event of a trade.
The Phillies are a familiar club for Neshek, who spent the first three-plus months of last season in Philadelphia before the team traded him to Colorado in late July. The 37-year-old Neshek excelled with both teams in 2017 and earned the second All-Star nod of his career thanks to his output with the Phillies. In all, the right-hander tossed 62 1/3 innings of 1.59 ERA, with a similarly minuscule FIP (1.86), and struck out 69 batters while issuing just six walks. While Neshek only managed a 36.4 percent groundball rate, he somewhat offset that with an impressive infield fly percentage (15.5).
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Last year was the latest in a long line of successful campaigns for the sidearming Neshek, who has typically been terrific since he debuted with the Twins in 2006. Even though he doesn’t throw particularly hard, Neshek has pitched to a 2.75 ERA/3.50 FIP combination across 445 2/3 innings in Minnesota, San Diego, Oakland, St. Louis, Houston and Philly, also posting 9.03 K/9 against 2.54 BB/9 and limiting home runs despite a low grounder rate (33.2 percent).
The grizzled Neshek will once again serve as the elder statesman in what’s currently a fairly young Phillies bullpen in 2018. Thanks largely to his tremendous half-season production in 2017, an otherwise less-than-stellar Phillies relief corps finished with respectable rankings in ERA (14th) and fWAR (13th).
Jon Heyman of FanRag reported that Neshek had a pair of offers in hand (Twitter link). Jerry Crasnick of ESPN added (via Twitter) that the Phillies and Neshek were moving toward a deal. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com tweeted that the Phillies could announce the signing this week. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported the exact total (Twitter link). USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported the details on the contract (via Twitter).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.