ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Phillies and Pat Neshek are progressing towards an agreement on a contract. The deal is worth $16.25 million over two years, per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Neshek, 37, pitched for the Phillies last season, putting up a 1.12 ERA with a 45/5 K/BB ratio in 40 1/3 innings. He made the NL All-Star roster as a result of his strong performance. On July 26, shortly after the All-Star break, the Phillies traded him to the Rockies for three minor leaguers. He continued to pitch well in the pitcher-unfriendly confines of Coors Field, posting a 2.45 ERA and a 24/1 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.
Neshek enjoyed his time with the rebuilding Phillies. If he were to rejoin the club, he would likely operate in the same role as last season, pitching the seventh and eighth innings ahead of closer Hector Neris.
If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.
“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.
Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.