Colorado Rockies Bullpen Free Agent Target: Neftali Feliz

Jul 24, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Neftali Feliz (30) pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 24, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Neftali Feliz (30) pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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In November, MLBTradeRumors.com came out with a list of its top 50 free agents and predicted where each of them would land. The Colorado Rockies were forecast to only land one of them … and that free agent still hasn’t been signed.

In the article, it was predicted that Neftali Feliz would become a member of the Rockies bullpen, signing a three-year, $18 million deal. That’s similar to what Colorado recently signed southpaw Mike Dunn for (three years for $19 million).

In Monday’s article on MLB.com, Feliz was listed as one of the “players that all teams should target.” Obviously that includes the Rockies as well. As the article states, “The former Rangers closer re-established his value working as a setup man last year in Pittsburgh. He had added two mph to his velocity from 2014 to ’15 and found another 1.3 mph last season, averaging almost 97 mph. He has drawn a lot of interest as a free agent, but has not signed a deal.”

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MLBTradeRumors.com also revisited Feliz on Monday as one of the free agent relievers still available. Here’s what they said about the right-hander…

Neftali Feliz brings vast ninth-inning experience (99 saves), though the ex-Rangers closer worked as a setup man with the Pirates last season. Along the way, Feliz accumulated 29 holds in 53 2/3 frames and registered a 3.52 ERA, 10.23 K/9 and 3.52 BB/9 to bounce back from a 2015 in which he finished with mediocre or worse numbers in those three categories (6.38 ERA, 7.31 K/9 and 3.38 BB/9). The 28-year-old did put up the second-lowest infield fly rate of his career last year (15.4), but it was still easily above the 9.9 percent league-average figure and went well with a personal-high swinging strike mark of 14.2 percent.

The site also did an intensive article on Feliz that lists his pros and cons. You can read that here.

So which teams are still in the hunt for Feliz? It’s been a moving list. Pittsburgh seemed to be a possibility until the Pirates inked Daniel Hudson. Miami was known to be interested in Feliz but signed Brad Ziegler. Washington could be a strong possibility to land Feliz and Toronto has been linked to him before the New Year.

Does the Dunn contract mean the Rockies are finished with their bullpen remodel? Not necessarily. It’s been rumored that Colorado has talked with Greg Holland about a multiyear deal. Adding someone like Holland or Feliz would no doubt strengthen the bullpen, one of Colorado’s biggest weaknesses in recent years.

The biggest question remains, “Will the Rockies continue to spend money on their bullpen?” If the answer is yes, Feliz would easily provide another strong late-inning option for the Rockies.

Next: Jeff Bridich Talks About Colorado Free Agent Plans

As a side note, the article also predicted that Ian Desmond would land with the Philadelphia Phillies in a four-year, $60 million deal. As we know, Desmond is now a member of the Rockies after inking a five-year, $70 million contract.

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