Ken Rosenthal says the Astros could look to trade Pat Neshek instead of declining his team option for 2017.
One of the story lines this offseason so far has been what do the Houston Astros do with reliever Pat Neshek. His two seasons with the Stros so far has been up and down, but he had a good bounce back season in 2016. Neshek’s future is up in the air as the Astros decide whether to exercise his $6.5 million dollar option for 2017.
While Neshek did have a great season in 2016, he went 2-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 47 innings, does the team need him? James Hoyt did not have a great debut in Houston, but there are several pitchers ready to take over a bullpen spot. Jandel Gustave and David Paulino are knocking on the door. There are some other power arms soon to be ready.
Do the Astros need Neshek?
Neshek is a good reliever with a funky motion, but he fits the bill of the Luke Gregerson‘s type pitchers in the bullpen. Some would say that they need a left-handed reliever in the bullpen more than they need Neshek. Could the team use the $6.5 million dollars they would save by declining Neshek’s options be used to get an LHP? Could that money sweeten the pot to reel in Aroldis Chapman?
We talked about Chapman on Talking Stros last night before he made his legendary performance saving the Cubs home win. If the teams wants to make a splash, Chapman would be the big fish to reel in. It is unclear whether the Stros could even outbid the Yankees or Cubs for Chapman, but the extra $6.5 million could put them over the top.
What about a buyout?
Back to Neshek, the Astros could use a $500 K buyout to get out of Neshek’s contract. However, management might be leery of letting a valuable reliever slip to an AL competitor for nothing. This transaction occurred last year when the team let Carlos Gomez go on waivers. He was picked up by the Rangers and helped them stay in first place.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
To summarize, the Astros may not want to keep Neshek for his salary, and he is too valuable a reliever just to let him go. What do the Astros do? Ken Rosenthal suggests that the Astros are looking to move Neshek and his $6.5 million dollar contract. This idea makes sense. Luhnow could recoup a prospect in return and save the money.
Believe it or not, Neshek does have trade value for another contender. The good thing about trading Neshek is that you could control who you send him to in the deal. Look for Jeff Luhnow to put some feelers out there to see who would be interested in the funky Neshek. If they can’t, they will have to decide whether to keep him.
There have been some whispers that they will not pick up the option, but we will wait till we get the official word. What would you do if you were Jeff Luhnow?
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***