By Jason Shetler
According to MLB.com Pirates beat reporter Adam Berry, the Pirates discussed a multi-year extension with Neftali Feliz during the season, but both sides couldn’t come to terms.
In 2015, Feliz had the worst season of his big league career when he posted a combined 6.38 ERA with the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers. Advanced metrics however suggested that he dealt with bad luck, posting a .349 BABIP, while his Fielding Independent Pitching was more respectable at 4.05.
The Pirates signed Feliz to a one-year deal worth $3.9 million last offseason, in the hopes that he would be a bounce back candidate. He pitched most of 2016 as the primary seventh inning reliever before being placed in the setup role, once Mark Melancon was traded and Tony Watson took over as the closer.
Feliz performed well out of the Pirates bullpen for the most part, as he put up a 3.52 ERA along with an ERA+ of 119 and a 10.2 K/9. His season came to an end in early September after dealing with right arm discomfort. The Pirates will look to address their need for a right-handed reliever this offseason, and bringing back Feliz certainly can’t be ruled out. However, there should be quite a few teams that would have interest in signing a righty reliever who can rack up strikeouts and has experience pitching in late innings.