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Dave Dombrowski says Phillies have interest in re-signing Héctor Neris


Hector Neris is a free agent. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Héctor Neris wants to stay in Philadelphia. With his second-half success and desire to stay with the Phillies long term, will president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski attempt to retain him?

Dombrowski wants to boost the bullpen on the free agent market this offseason. When asked if he would consider bringing back Neris — who had quite a bit of success after his removal from the closer’s role — Dombrowski was straightforward.

“Yes,” Dombrowski said, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “He pitched well for us. We’d prefer to bring him back as a non-ninth-inning guy. That would be our hope. He’s open to that. Ideally, he’d love to return but I know once a player becomes a free agent, anything can happen.”

Neris struggled in the ninth inning in 2021, posting a 5.20 ERA in 27 2/3 innings of ninth-inning work. However, Neris posted a 1.65 ERA in 16 1/3 innings of eighth-inning work, and a 2.70 ERA overall after the All-Star Break.

The Phillies will need to find a closer externally — whether that’s through free agency or via trade — but Neris could be part of the bridge to said closer.

The longest-tenured Phillie, Neris made his Major League debut in 2014. In parts of eight seasons in red pinstripes, Neris has posted a 3.42 ERA, 3.79 FIP and 84 saves. The 32-year-old was asked late in the 2021 season if he was interested in re-signing with the only team he’s ever played for.

“Yeah,” Neris told The Athletic‘s Matt Gelb in September. “It’s the team that I grew up with. It’s the team that knows me. I have been available all the time.”

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