May 20, 2024

The New York Yankees, previously seen as the frontrunners to sign Héctor Neris, are facing competition from the New York Mets in the pursuit of the World Series-winning pitcher. According to SNY’s Andy Martino, both teams have engaged with Neris’ representatives, with the Yankees considered the more likely fit. However, Neris has garnered interest beyond the New York clubs.

Reliever Hector Neris declines $8.5 million with Astros

While earlier reports suggested Neris sought a three-year, $50 million deal, Martino now indicates that the pitcher’s asking price has reduced. Neris is reportedly seeking $7-11 million per year for one or two seasons. Having opted out of an $8.5 million player option at the beginning of the offseason, Neris is poised to secure a deal exceeding one year.

The Mets, with approximately $10 million allocated for the remainder of the offseason, appear to align with Neris’s revised asking price. This approach aligns with Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns’ strategy of building bullpen depth on short-term contracts.

While retired All-Star Carlos Baerga suggested on social media that Neris was on the verge of signing with the Yankees, no decision has been made yet. The 34-year-old Neris, who spent the last two seasons with the Houston Astros, recorded impressive statistics in 2023, boasting a 1.71 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and a 10.1 K/9 mark in 68 1/3 innings. A key contributor to the Astros’ 2022 World Series victory, Neris is known for his effectiveness in late-inning relief despite a fastball velocity of 93 mph.

In the context of the Mets, Neris could potentially serve as a bridge to Edwin Diaz in the back end of the bullpen, addressing an area where the team currently lacks established options. Presently, Brooks Raley, Drew Smith, and Jorge Lopez are considered the top candidates for late-inning relief for the Mets.

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