Hector Neris will leave the Phillies organization as one of the top relievers in franchise history, as he signed a two-year deal with the Houston Astros worth $17 million today. Neris left the organization holding the strikeout record for relievers, a feat that he was able to accomplish when he struck out Jazz Chisholm on the final day of the season against the Miami Marlins.
The Phillies career of Hector Neris was one that had its highs and one that had its low. The reliever could either have been absolutely dominant on the mound, or have absolutely gotten rocked. Overall, Neris ended his Phillies career with a 21-29 record, a 3.42 ERA, and 84 saves throughout his eight years with the organization. He will definitely be a player that will be missed in the clubhouse, but the Phillies will have a few options to look at to replace him. Relievers such as Raisel Iglesias, Ryan Tepera, and Kenley Jansen are available on the free agent market, and Dave Dombrowksi could even look to acquire a reliever in a trade. Some names that have been brought up in Phillies interest include Craig Kimbrel of the Chicago White Sox and Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Overall, while I do not agree with letting Neris walk in free agency, I can see why the Phillies organization chose to do so. The Astros signed Neris at $17 million over two years, which accounts for $8.5 million per year. While that might not seem like a lot for the Phillies, they have a lot of other holes to fill, and not a lot of money to work with. But, the Phillies have been relatively quiet as other teams have spent some money, so it will be interesting to see what the organization chooses to do. Whether it be a trade for Josh Hader or Craig Kimbrel, or signing a guy like Raisel Iglesias, the Phillies now have a hole to fill with Neris heading to Houston.