The Philadelphia Phillies traded reliever Pat Neshek to the Colorado Rockies in July.
When the deal was announced, Neshek stood in front of his locker in the Phillies’ clubhouse and indicated he might not be gone for long.
“I’d love to come back, maybe down the road,” he said. “Probably be my No. 1 place.”
Neshek is close to turning that statement into reality.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, NBCSPhilly.com and MLB.com, among others, reported from the winter meetings in Orlando, Florida, on Monday the free-agent reliever will sign a two-year deal with the Phillies for between $16 million and $17 million.
Neshek, 37, was one of the Phillies’ few positives last season. He represented the team in the All-Star Game. He appeared in 43 games for the Phillies, pitching 401/3 innings. Neshek allowed just five runs, while striking out 45 and walking five.
PHILADELPHIA — Matt Klentak apparently does his best baseball work under the cover of darkness.
He pitched almost as well in Colorado, finishing the season with a 1.59 ERA in 71 games.
The Phillies first acquired Neshek in a trade with the Astros in November 2016. Philadelphia was 35-64 when he was traded to the Rockies.
“It might sound weird with our record,” Neshek said on the night he was dealt, “but I felt really comfortable. My family loved it. We loved where we lived. I enjoyed all my teammates, more so than a lot of places.”
Neshek most likely will pitch the seventh inning for the Phillies. He made his major league debut with the Minnesota Twins in July 2006. Neshek provides the Phillies’ bullpen with stability and veteran leadership.
The Neshek signing was the Phillies’ first major move at the winter meetings, which end Thursday. The meetings are an annual event at which representatives from all 30 MLB teams gather to discuss business and make trades and free-agent signings.