The Major League Baseball trade deadline is just days away and the Phillies continue to look for ways to improve their team. Although starting pitching seems like the biggest need, the Phillies could also benefit from some stability at the back end of their bullpen. Hector Neris has shown flashes of being a potentially dominant closer, but he’s been less reliable lately with three blown saves over his last six opportunities.
Perhaps Neris’ recent struggles have pointed Matt Klentak in the direction of a new closer. According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Phillies are showing continued interest in White Sox closer Álex Colomé.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 29, 2019
The 30-year-old right-hander is arbitration eligible in 2020 and would become a free agent in 2021. He is under contract for $7.3 million in 2019. The Phillies aren’t the only NL East team taking a look at Colomé, though. Morosi reported on July 26 that the Nationals are showing active interest in Colomé.
Colomé has put together a tremendous season in Chicago for the sub-.500 White Sox. He’s earned 21 saves in 22 opportunities, pitching to an ERA of 2.27 with 31 strikesouts and 12 walks. In 39.2 total innings, he’s allowed just four home runs compared to Hector Neris’ eight in five more innings. The opposition is hitting just .144 off Colomé this season with a .515 OPS. If the Phillies are able to land the White Sox closer, Hector Neris could be a really good eighth inning arm to set things up for Colomé.
Colomé is in his seventh big league season, the first with the White Sox. He signed with the Rays as an amateur free agent in 2007 and debuted for them during the 2013 season. In 2018, Colomé was sent to Seattle along with Denard Span to Seattle. The Mariners dealt him to the White Sox just six months later.
In 283 career games, Colomé has compiled 117 saves in 137 opportunities. He led the big leagues in saves in 2017 with 47 and was selected to the American League All-Star Team in 2016, a campaign that saw him finish with 37 saves in 40 chances to go along with a 1.91 ERA.