While going through old Facebook messages, Pat Neshek discovered a contract offer for 2014
If you've ever found yourself sorting through old mail, you've probably discovered that you've missed out on some opportunities. Maybe it was a great coupon for discounted chicken wings, or maybe it was a free car wash. Chances are that none of us have ever stumbled upon a professional baseball contract offer, though.
Well, that happened to Phillies reliever Pat Neshek. He was clearing out old messages on his Facebook when he discovered a particularly unusual one from Jan. 18, 2014. He was a free agent at the time, coming off a year in which he had a 3.35 ERA in 45 games out of the A's bullpen.
The message was from Jon Hunton, the closer/director of player personnel (yes, both) for the Somerset Patriots of the Independent Atlantic League. They wanted Neshek:
Not a big facebook guy but tonight I went through nearly all my unread messages on there. Just found out I had a contract offer in 2014 that I never knew. pic.twitter.com/0Vb1LAoM2i- Pat Neshek (@PatNeshek) June 21, 2018
Hey, it never hurts to ask, right? As Neshek said, he appreciated the offer, even if his response was late.
Despite Neshek's accidental neglect, it all worked out well for both sides in the end. Neshek signed with the Cardinals a month later and had an All-Star season, helping them win the NL Central in the process.
As for Hunton? Well, he was pretty good in his hybrid job for the Patriots.
Hunton set an Atlantic League record with 49 saves in 2014, and his front-office moves helped guide the Patriots to the best record in the league at 85-55. Perhaps encouraging players like Neshek to sign contracts with him over Facebook Messenger was part of the trick.