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Phillies and Hector Neris avoid arbitration

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The team and its top reliever settled just below the midpoint of their exchanged numbers. He has one arb-eligible year remaining.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies-Workouts Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies and reliever Hector Neris avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4.6 million deal. Jim Salisbury had the news first this morning.

Neris had submitted at $5.2 million and the team had countered at $4.25 million; $4.6 million comes in just under the midpoint of $4.725 million. Hector turns 31 in June, and will be eligible for arbitration one more time in 2021.

UPDATE: The deal also includes a $7 million team option for 2021, with no buyout.

Neris was the last of the Phillies’ arbitration-eligible players still without a defined salary for 2020. With that fixed, the team only has renewals and pre-arbitration agreements left to settle. Including estimates for those players from RosterResource, plus benefits counted toward the CBT, the club’s payroll sits just under $204 million, leaving them with about $4 million of space to maneuver beneath the first threshold (or about $24 million if they really wanted to get serious).

The team kicks off its Spring Training battles Saturday afternoon against the Tigers.