Angels open long-term contract discussions with Weaver

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The Angels got all sorts of deserved flak for taking on $81 million of Vernon Wells’ contract in a trade with the Blue Jays last week.  But they could end their offseason on a high note.

According to Mark Saxson of ESPN L.A., the Halos have opened long-term contract discussions with ace right-hander Jered Weaver.

Weaver, 28, posted a stellar 3.01 ERA and 1.07 WHIP across 34 starts last season, fanning 233 batters and walking only 54 in 224.1 innings of work.  He features a strong four-pitch arsenal and looks to be entering his prime.

The Angels offered the righty a $7.365 million salary last Tuesday when arbitration figures were exchanged and Weaver’s people countered at $8.8 million.  Those numbers can be thrown out if a multi-year pact is agreed upon.  If it doesn’t happen, the two sides will have to either find a middle ground or they will head to an arbitration hearing and one of the two figures will be selected by a third party.

Phillies option Hector Neris to Triple-A

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The Phillies announced that they’ve optioned right-hander Hector Neris to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Nerris, who saved 26 games as the Phillies closer in 2017 and ten games in that role this year, has struggled this year, posting a 6.00 ERA in 30 appearances. While his strikeout and walk rates aren’t too far off what he was doing last year his hit rate has spiked and he’s currently allowing 10.3 safeties per nine. The wheels have come off of late, as he has allowed nine runs on 15 hits — five of them homers — over his last eight innings of work. Yesterday he allowed four runs in the ninth inning of a game the Phillies had led by five.

It was clear that Gabe Kapler had lost faith in Neris as a result, using him almost exclusively in low-leverage situations. That changed on Saturday, as Kapler used him in a save situation and said after the game that they were easing him back into his role. That plan obviously changed after yesterday’s meltdown.

Seranthony Dominguez had been getting the call in save situations. He’ll get them more now.