Not only did the Philadelphia Phillies narrowly avoid an arbitration hearing with reliever Hector Neris for 2020, but they assured they won’t find themselves in a hearing with Neris in 2021 either.
According to The Associated Press, the Phillies and Neris agreed to a one-year deal that will pay the veteran $4.6 million in 2020. That negates a previously scheduled arbitration hearing for Friday, which would have decided if Neris made the $5.2 million that he filed at or the $4.25 million that the Phillies had filed at.
The AP also added some details on additional money that the 30-year-old can make in 2020 based on how he pitches:
“Neris can earn an additional $1.2 million this year in performance bonuses for games finished: $50,000 each for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35; $100,000 apiece for 40, 45 and 50; and $200,000 each for 55, 60 and 63.”
What’s more, the Phillies tacked on a $7 million option for Neris in 2021, which had previously been scheduled to be his final season of arbitration eligibility. The option comes with next to no risk, as the AP report says that there’s no buyout fee if the Phillies ultimately decline the option.
After spending July of 2018 in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Neris was dominant to wind down that season, posting a 2.04 ERA in 20 games after returning to the major league level. He carried that success into 2019, a season where he posted a 2.93 ERA in 68 games, while converting 28 of 34 save opportunities. As Phillies Nation‘s Jonny Heller noted, Neris again had a strong finish to a season, posting a 1.00 ERA over his final 27 appearances of the 2019 season.
It’s not yet clear whether new manager Joe Girardi envisions using Neris as a set-up man or closer in 2020. That will largely be dependent upon Seranthony Dominguez’s ability to stay healthy.
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