The complaining in Philadelphia is going to reach a fever pitch if GM Pat Gillick doesn’t shore up the bullpen soon. Charlie Manuel put it bluntly: "We’ve got to fix our ’pen."
So which relievers might be available, aside from the aforementioned Brad Lidge?
- There’s Byung-Hyun Kim, but he’d probably be a nightmare in Philadelphia. The Rockies can’t seem to pawn him off on anyone.
- The Phils would love to get Scott Linebrink, but the Padres don’t have any reason to give him up and in fact might yet work out a contract extension.
- Salomon Torres should be available, but the Pirates appear to fancy themselves contenders and already weakened their pen with the Mike Gonzalez trade. Still, if they want to sell high, they should deal him before he blows a few more saves.
- The White Sox, with a deep bullpen, seemingly have a surplus. And Kenny Williams gets along with Pat Gillick. But with Bobby Jenks’s status still in question, I don’t see them moving anyone.
- Chad Cordero, while not a dominant closer, is certainly better than anyone the Phillies have. Top prospect Carlos Carrasco would get Jim Bowden’s ear, and Michael Bourn would fit nicely at the top of Washington’s lineup. Those are the two I think Bowden would want for Cordero. Jon Rauch or Luis Ayala would be nice additions as well.
- Akinori Otsuka could become available, and I’m sure he’ll be a tad disgruntled from losing his job based on Eric Gagne’s long-ago success. But I don’t think Jon Daniels will use Gagne without a safety net.
- If I’m Dan O’Dowd, I’m shopping Brian Fuentes while he’s at his peak and still affordable. The lefty saved 61 games over the last two seasons but turns 32 this year.
- Derrick Turnbow is off to a great start with four scoreless innings, six strikeouts, and most importantly, no walks. He’ll make $5.5MM for 2007-08. It would be an ideal time for Doug Melvin to trade him, but I’m not sure what the Phillies could offer that the Brewers need. A smaller deal for Jose Capellan could make sense, if the Phils really think he’s a back of the bullpen guy even though he couldn’t crack Milwaukee’s pen at all.
- The Cubs don’t seem to think too highly of Mike Wuertz, but the 28 year-old quietly had a very solid season last year.
- Dustin Hermanson is out there, but he’s not going to solidify this bullpen. And forget about Ugueth Urbina…he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempted murder. I’m all out of ideas as far as guys who would make the ’pen better in Philly. Did I miss anyone?