Yesterday there was a report that the Pittsburgh Pirates were interested in right-handed reliever Pat Neshek. Then last night the news came out that he was deciding between three teams, and that the Astros were one of them. Today he signed with the Houston Astros for $12.5 M over two years.
— Derrick S. Goold (@dgoold) December 10, 2014
Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that he was about to sign with the Pirates, but the Astros upped their offer at the last second.
Neshek was about to sign with the Pirates, but the Astros upped their offer at the last second. He had eight offers of two-year deals.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) December 10, 2014
I wrote this about Neshek last night:
Due to the fact that the Pirates rarely spend in the bullpen, I would be surprised if they land Neshek. He’s coming off a good year, with a 1.87 ERA and a 3.29 xFIP, along with a 9.1 K/9 and a 1.2 BB/9. However, that is the first year since 2007 that he’s been more than just a replacement level reliever. Is this a Jason Grilli type case with a late bloomer? And how much is that one good season in 2014 going to raise his price tag? Neshek seems like a gamble where you’re buying high on one good season at a late age.
So consider me a little surprised that the Pirates were going after him to the point where they almost signed him. I don’t know what the offer was, but it had to be significant, since the Astros had to pay $12.5 M to beat their offer. I generally trust the Pirates with any pitching decision. They’ve earned that trust over the last few years with all of the reclamation projects they’ve had success with. But I can’t help thinking that they dodged a bullet here.