Former All Star and Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz is the newest member of the Pirates "Shark Tank". On Wednesday the Pirates and Feliz finalized a one year, $3.9 million contract. Feliz is 27 years old and ended up in the free agent pool after the Tigers failed to offer him a deal for 2016. Last season with the Texas Rangers, he went 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA in just 18 times on the bump. After being designated for assignment, Detroit scooped him up in July. With the Tigers Feliz went 2-2 and posted an awful (career worst), 7.62 ERA in 28 and 1/3 innings of work.
2010 was the year for this guy. An American League All Star and the Rookie of the Year. He worked out of the back end of the bullpen that season and was able to tally 40 saves. Basically, he was the Aroldis Chapman of 2010, just not quite as much firepower.
All those heaters caught up with him though, in 2012 he underwent Tommy John surgery. Tommy John isn't the death sentence for pitchers anymore. The guy may still have some quality pitching in him. Most of his troubles seem to have stemmed from teams attempts to convert him to a starting pitcher. This is a max effort, power pitcher. He's meant for the back end of a bullpen, right where the Pirates will use him. His velocity has not taken much of a hit since the beginning of his career, he still gets up around 98 and should be able to touch the century mark.
Feliz fits the Pirates' mold. Searage shouldn't have much work on his hands with a talent like this. He just needs a little career rejuvenation.
Beat 'em Bucs