Cubs Land ‘Best Reliever Left on the Market’ With $9 Million Deal

The Chicago Cubs have made their biggest offseason move, signing right-handed reliever pitcher Héctor Neris to a one-year, $9 million contract.

Coming off a career-best season with the Houston Astros at 34 years old, he had been linked to a number of organizations this offseason, including the New York Yankees. 

His offer with the Cubs is on the higher end of an asking price previously reported by SNY's Andy Martino, which could have sealed the deal for Chicago.

"A $9 million option for 2025 belongs to the team unless Neris reaches 60 games — he has done so six of his past seven full seasons — at which point it turns into a player option," Passan said. 

Last season, the Cubs' bullpen performed admirably, with a combined 3.85 ERA, the seventh-highest total strikeouts in the league, and opponents allowing less total home runs than all but six other relief corps. 

Adbert Alzolay, 28, has emerged as the team's go-to closer, with a 2.67 ERA and 22 saves, and he will most certainly keep that role, but Neris will immediately become one of the team's better late-inning possibilities.

As the Cubs try to improve on their 83-79 season and second-place finish in the NL Central last year, this short-term deal for Neris could be wise.

"Exactly the kind of veteran the Cubs were looking for, and to get him on a one-year deal with a team option (or a reasonable player option if it vests) is a coup."

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