Buster Olney Dishes On Deep Relief Pitcher Market

SAN DIEGO, CA-JUNE 3: Mike Adams #37 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros at Petco Park on June 3, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees have Joba Chamberlain and Rafael Soriano on the shelf with elbow injuries, the St. Louis Cardinals have a rookie duo closing out ballgames and several other teams have suffered inconsistency in bridging the gap from their starters to their closer.  According to Buster Olney, these teams could be in luck because the market for relievers figures to be strong.  He lists a few names who could be moved:

Grant Balfour, Oakland A's - 2.81 ERA, 9.82 K/9

Michael Wuertz, Oakland A's - 2.55 ERA, 8.15 K/9

Mike Adams, San Diego Padres - 1.30 ERA, 10.73 K/9

Luke Gregerson, San Diego Padres - 2.63 ERA, 4.61 K/9

Kerry Wood, Chicago Cubs - 2.55 ERA, 7.88 K/9

  • Based on stuff and contract, Mike Adams stands out as the most attractive candidate of the quintet.  He's arbitration eligible and would be under contract through 2012, but those characteristics could be what keep him in San Diego.
  • Luke Gregerson has regressed since 2010.  His stellar K/9 (10.23) and WHIP (0.83) have fallen/risen to 4.61 and 1.32, respectively.  His BAA vs. right-handers is still a very solid .234 so teams will likely give him some consideration nonetheless.
  • Kerry Wood, who controls his trade fate, may be tough to acquire.  He took less money to play in Chicago so it is reasonable to expect him to exercise his no-trade clause to remain with the Cubs.
Some other relievers that you should keep an eye on as the season progresses are Francisco Rodriguez, Matt Capps, Joe Nathan, Kevin Gregg and Heath Bell.  Rodriguez and Bell, in particular, have been floating around the rumor mill for some time.  As more teams accept the fact that they won't be able to compete in 2011, I expect more relievers - even some big names - to find themselves on several teams' wish lists.
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