Although elite closers Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon are no longer available, the market has been slow moving for Neftali Feliz and others in the next tier of relief pitchers.
Along with Joe Blanton and Greg Holland, Feliz has been connected to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The one-time closer put together a bounce-back season with the Pittsburgh Pirates after struggling in 2015 with the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers.
Although the Dodgers are looking to round out their bullpen after signing Jansen to a five-year, $80 million contract, the club reportedly wishes to do so by inking relievers to one-year deals.
It’s not yet clear what the terms are, but according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, there will be one-less option available for Los Angeles as Feliz is nearing a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers:
Neftali Feliz is indeed nearing a deal with brewers
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 14, 2017
The 28-year-old went 4-2 and pitched to a 3.52 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 4.52 FIP in 62 games last season. Much of Feliz’s struggles are tied to his 1.7 HR/9 and 19.2 home run/fly ball percentage in 53.2 innings pitched
Feliz did however strike out 10.2 batters per nine innings and walked 3.5 per nine, which were the second- and third-best marks of his career, respectively.
Considering the current state of the Brewers bullpen, it’s possible Feliz, who has 99 career saves, could cement himself as the club’s closer.