Minnesota Twins Trade Rumors Profile: Hector Neris, RP, Philadelphia Phillies

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 15: Hector Neris
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 15: Hector Neris /

Could the Minnesota Twins make a trade for a big bullpen piece like Philadelphia’s Hector Neris? What would it cost?

This trade season, the Minnesota Twins have already made a splash for one need area, getting a reliable starter in Jaime Garcia that should allow the team to get good innings out of 3-4 of their rotation spots every turn through, which is something they’ve only been able to count on out of 2 spots each turn. They still have needs in the bullpen for sure, and that could be a target on the market.

We at Puckett’s Pond will be looking at a number of the trade candidates that the Minnesota Twins may be pursuing over the next few days ahead of the July 31st trade deadline. Today’s highlight will feature a guy that has become one of the most elite relievers in the league.

Hector Neris, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

Neris was originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies out of the Dominican Republic in April of 2010, already 20, so a “late bloomer” for most on the island. He moved quickly through the minor leagues, making his major league debut with the Phillies in 2014.

Neris spent about equal time between AAA and the big league club in 2015, but a late season run in the year cemented his role for the 2016 club as a significant part of the bullpen’s future.

In 2016, Neris made 79 appearances, throwing 80 1/3 innings, with a 2.58 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and posting a 30/102 BB/K ratio. He’s followed that up this season with 45 appearances, throwing 44 innings as the most frequent reliever throwing in the closer’s role for the Phillies, posting a 3.27 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and a 14/47 BB/K ratio.

Why the Twins would be interested

Neris is a big, strong righty, at 6’2″ and 215 listed pounds that is probably more like 225-230. Neris is definitely a power pitcher, working with a fastball, split-finger, and slider combination. His split finger fastball is one of the best in the entire major leagues and a definite swing-and-miss pitch for him.

Neris’ ball has such movement that batters swing at over 1/3 of the pitches he throws outside of the zone and come up empty frequently. Even when they do hit the ball, Neris has a good rate of keeping the ball in the park, though he’s no ground-ball fanatic by any means (career 38%).

The major thing he would offer is that on top of offering a strikeout component to the bullpen, he has plenty of control left. Neris will not even be arbitration eligible until after the 2018 season, and he won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season, so the Twins would control him for a significant amount of time if they were to bring him in.

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The cost

With his relative youth (28), excellent performance, and cheap contract, the Phillies will likely ask a fairly decent return in a seller’s market for relievers at this time. However, the Twins may match up fairly well with needs/wants that the Phillies have.

The Phillies scout high-ceiling talent very well, and they definitely would want to replace Neris in their bullpen soon, if not this season, so it’d make sense that someone like Tyler Jay, Nick Burdi, John Curtiss, Jake Reed, J.T. Chargois, or Randy Rosario was in the package. However, the Twins would likely be using their excellent work in Latin America recently to key this deal, and it’d likely hurt, very probably requiring someone like Felix Jorge/Fernando Romero/Kohl Stewart to lead the deal along with likely one of Wander Javier/Lewin Diaz/Jermaine Palacios, plus one more Latin or upside arm along the realm of Brusdar Graterol, Lewis Thorpe, or Eduardo Del Rosario.

So, to sum that up in one spot, a deal could look like Nick Burdi, Felix Jorge, Jermaine Palacios, and Lewis Thorpe for Neris.

Next: Twins acquire Garcia, Recker

What do you think about this type of deal? Would you want to bring in Neris to be a power righty in the bullpen? Would you prefer to trade a different package of players to make it happen if so? Comment below!!