Phillies Reportedly Have Neshek, Hunter on Trade Block
The Phillies offseason is just underway and the club has yet to make any major moves. There have been rumblings the Phillies are looking to trade first baseman Carlos Santana. But a new report says that the club could be looking to move two of their other acquisitions from last offseason.
There could be two reasons the club might want to move them.
The first is a matter of sheer numbers. The Phillies have a large number of relievers already under contract for 2019. Seranthony Dominguez will return and possibly be paired with an experienced closer at the back end. Hector Neris seemed to return to form down the stretch and could play a big part of the bullpen. Then there are lefties that include Adam Morgan, Luis Avilan and Austin Davis.
The Phillies could develop relievers with the likes of Enyel De Los Santos, too.
Another reason could be their outspoken nature at a time of transition. After pitching coach Rick Kranitz was dismissed, even after Phillies manager Gabe Kapler had indicated all coaches were invited to return, the two relievers did not necessarily criticize the team, but went out of their way to praise Kranitz in a Todd Zolecki interview.
At times, there were anonymous bullpen voices critical of the way Kapler used the bullpen. It would not be much of a stretch to wonder if either player might have contributed towards that criticism. Both are veteran relievers who might be more accustomed to the way bullpens were once used with set roles along the way.
Both were effective in 2018. After a rough start, Hunter became a steady force in the Phillies bullpen. Neshek was not as strong as his 2017 All-Star campaign, but very good after returning from injury. The two helped nail down some wins as Dominguez began to have some struggles in the closer's role.
Both were signed to two-year deals prior to last season. Neshek is due $8 million and Hunter is due $9 million, which could mean the Phillies need to pay down either contract in a trade.