By Sam Bush
The Phillies big bosses are visiting free agent fave Bryce Harper tomorrow in Vegas.
But they made news late last night by signing arbitration-eligible right-handers Hector Neris (above) and starter Jerad Eickhoff.
Neris will earn $1.8 million while Eickhoff gets $975,000.
Neris was 1-3 with 11 saves and a 5.10 ERA last year. He began the season as the closer after converting 26 of 29 save opportunities in 2017 but lost his job and was demoted to the minors. Neris returned to the majors in August and pitched well, posting a 2.04 ERA in his final 20 appearances. He had 35 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings in that span. The 29-year-old made $582,500 in 2018.
Eickhoff, who was acquired in a deal that sent Cole Hamels to Texas in July 2015, appeared in only three games last year because of injuries. He was Philadelphia’s most consistent starter in 2016 when he was 11-14 with a 3.65 ERA in 33 starts. In 2017, Eickhoff was 4-8 with a 4.71 ERA in 24 starts. The 28-year-old earned $568,000 in 2018.
The Phillies have seven remaining players eligible to swap proposed salaries Friday: ace right-hander Aaron Nola, third baseman Maikel Franco, second baseman Cesar Hernandez, outfielder Aaron Altherr, left-hander Adam Morgan, right-hander Vince Velasquez and left-hander Jose Alvarez.