Bleacher Report Lists One Option for the Phillies to Target Before Spring Training
Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater in less than a month, are they a finished product or do they have another move or two left to make?
The team made a big offer to free agent pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who ended up signing with the Dodgers. After failing to land the right-hander, some linked the Phillies to starting pitching like NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell and World Series champion Jordan Montgomery. However, it seems the team might just try to fine tune their roster over making a big splash.
Right before the Christmas holiday, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said “It’s more around the edges, trying to get our club better,” when asked about the team is still looking to do.
Bleacher Report National MLB Columnist Joel Reuter, listed one realistic option to plug every MLB team's biggest roster hole, with the Phillies reuniting with an old friend.
With the Phillies losing 2023 closer Craig Kimbrel, Reuter has the Phillies targeting a late-inning reliever, Hector Neris.
With a 1.71 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 10.1 K/9 in 71 appearances last season, Héctor Neris was one of baseball's best setup relievers, and he tallied two saves and 31 holds bridging the gap to closer Ryan Pressley in the Houston bullpen.
The 34-year-old spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Phillies, including a three-year stretch when he logged 65 saves as the team's primary closer. Adding him as a right-handed option in the late innings alongside lefties José Alvarado and Gregory Soto would help ease the loss of Craig Kimbrel.
While Neris isn't a elite closer, he has closing experience and could be an option with Jose Alvarado, Gregory Soto, Orion Kerkering, Seranthony Dominguez and Jeff Hoffman.
Neris spent eight seasons with the Phillies, going 21-29 with a 3.42 ERA in 405 games pitched. He logged 84 saves for the Phillies and struck out 520 batters in 407.2 innings pitched.
He landed in Houston and became a high leverage guy for the Astros, helping them win a World Series in 2022. Over his two seasons in Houston, he went 12-7 with a 2.69 ERA, saving five games.