Hector Neris- 3 year deal for $45 million dollars
Neris is another former Astros reliever that the Cardinals have reportedly been linked to, and he as well would be a welcomed addition to the Cardinal bullpen. After the World Series, Neris declined his $8.5 million dollar player option and opted for free agency, and he is one of the more attractive names remaining.
2023 was year 10 in the big leagues for Neris and he had a career-low 1.71 ERA and a 10.1 K/9 in just over 68 innings, his 8th straight season with a double-digit K/9. After failing to make the postseason in his 8 seasons in Philadelphia, he has been a part of two deep playoff runs with the Astros, including a run to the World Series title in 2022 when Neris only allowed one run in those playoffs.
In June Neris will turn 35 years old, but coming off a career year in some ways I could easily see him get up to 3 years and a decent annual salary. It's surprising to me that he is not signed yet but the Cardinals should continue to express interest in him because he is a durable arm ( has thrown at least 65 innings in a season 6 times), and provides swing-and-miss stuff that the Cardinals need more of in their bullpen in 2024. Investing in somebody like Neris who is reliable to pitch in high-leverage situations is something the Cardinals need to do if they're serious about going deep in the playoffs next year.