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The Relief Market

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?


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Jenks looked terrible last night. 92mph and right down broadway. MacDougal and Aardsma have been lights out so far, and Thornton was incredible last year, I think that a change will happen sometime this season.

Wuertz is a solid reliever out of the Cubs pen, and you're right, they don't seem to think so highly of him despite a 2.66 ERA and a 93 mph fastball and pretty good slider. He's gotten the Cubs out of two big jams thus far.

Any chance we can still move Eyre?

I heard that Wally Ritchie and Wayne Gomes are also still available ??? I think they might peak Charlie's interest at this point...

I'd like the Blue Jays to trade for Byung-Hyun Kim. It would be a Speier trade redux. He has not spent a lot of time in the AL, and likely would be deceptive and effective for the first while...and he could be had cheap, talent wise. He would be that veteran bullpen presence...not that I think our bullpen isn't good, but it is...but it can help us shift Victor Zambrano to the rotation which sucks.

Roto, what would you do four our 3,4,5 guys? I like Towers, then Chacin, then Ohka in that order. Ohka has looked terrible. I would rather Victor Zambrano be in there...our young guys are doing well in the pen so I don't want to move them (janssen, marcum), what do you think?

I think the Jays need to bring someone in because none of those three seem even league average to me.

pretty much. I think that's the downfall for this team. Though I have a feeling Towers could be league average, but not the other two.

We have McGowan pitching great so far in the minors, and Zambrano in the pen. There is a best case scenario in there somewhere, but it has to happen quick.

This is the type of pitcher the Phils need for their pen:


I can't agree more with your assessment of the WSox. That game last night was a back breaker (and fairly absurd, with the ball bouncing off of Pods head...btw, why wasn't Anderson in left as defensive relief?? I nearly put my foot through the T.V. last night...I mean, that loss could haunt them for awhile.) Jenks looks terrible, and frankly, he should go. And please, no talk of "Hey, it's early in the year, he'll come around." His stuff has looked increasinly bad, beginning with last season, and their pen now is strong enough to replace his absence. Trade him for another top pitching prospect and let Thorton close. Period.

I think that the Twins make a lot of sense. They have a lot of bullpen depth. I would think Juan Rincon could be had. He's making about $2.4 million this year, with a year of arbitration left. Matt Guerrier has been excellent out of the 'pen the last two-plus years.

Maybe the Phillies want Carlos Silva back! I think that the Twins would deal him for nothing, just to be able to replace him in the rotation with Matt Garza, Glen Perkins or Kevin Slowey.

The game shouldn't even have gotten that far. If Anderson is in LF, then Bradley is out at home. He was hurt, and moving slowly, and Pods actually gave his best effort. You can't fault him if Ozzie is stupid enough to leave the best defensive player on the team on the bench in late inning situations. Terrible managing.

Speaking of last night's game...

A certain team has a lot of bullpen depth. The A'thletics.

Currently Chad Gaudin and Joe Kennedy are in the rotation, but if/when Esteban Loaiza comes back, one will move back to the bullpen (I am inclined to believe it will be Kennedy, because Gaudin has been solid in his two stars and Kennedy had a horrid Spring Training, and a lucky first start).

If you include both on the list, the A's bullpen includes;

Huston Street
Justin Duchscherer
Alan Embree
Kiko Calero
Jay Witasick
Jay Marshall
Lenny DiNardo

and in Sacramento

Mike Mitchell
Marcus McBeth
Shane Komine
Jairo Garcia
Shawn Kohn

With Dan Meyer and Jason Windsor as candidates to possibly start on the big club (as 5th starters, granted. Though if Meyer is actually healthy for the first time since the hudson trade, and regains his stuff... yeah...)

The A's could definetly trade some of that bullpen depth for offense, even at the minor league level.

Jay Witasick is the one most likely to be moved. He could probably be had for anything, as the A's are not really high on him. But he is finally healthy, having recovered from a severe ankle injury, and is one year removed from a pretty good year.

can someone please convince someone to pick up ricardo rincon,,, the cards could use a little money seeing as they are going to be in need of a starter if Carp is going to out for a while...

The Nationals absolutely need to deal Chad Cordero. Sure, he's not really dominant, but he proved in '05 that he can hack it if used correctly, and the Phillies could really use him. A good, trade-bait closer is not something the worst team in baseball can really afford to keep around, especially while they're "rebuilding."

But of course, the Nats won't trade Cordero, because Jim Bowden is ridiculous. During the Nats broadcast a couple nights ago, it was mentioned that the Diamondbacks asked about Cordero, and Bowden's asking price? Brandon Webb. And maybe Eric Byrnes, too. If Bodes doesn't get realistic, Cordero isn't going to leave Washington under any terms but free agency, and the Nats will recieve zero value for him.

Also, and this may not have any merit since we are discussing the phils situation, the braves have great amount of relief depth in the triple A corps. There have been talks of trades to bring in another starter or some second base or leadoff hitter depth with the bullpen depth we have, so do not be surprised if the braves make at least one move to get some more depth for the rotation.

If the Phillies trade Carlos Carrasco for Chad Cordero, I'm officially picking a different team to root for.

"If the Phillies trade Carlos Carrasco for Chad Cordero, I'm officially picking a different team to root for."

you being a phils or nats fan now?

The Nats absolutely need to trade him, although i really dont think it would be to a division foe despite the fact that they aren't going to contend.

Yeah really... I can see Bourn going to the Nats for Cordero... But, Carrasco needs to stay tucked away developing in our farm for the next couple of years so he can join Myers and Hamels in 09..... I'm willing to give Michael Bourn but definately not Carrasco....

Do they have to move Cordeo? Of course not. They can wait till the offseason and get a fortune for him or get a fortune now. He is young, cheap and good. The ball is in the hands of the Nats and they will not move him unless someone overpays.

The "bigger market teams" fans always assume lesser teams "need to move" players. Specially when they have them under contract for a good time.

Yeah Tampa really "needs to move crawford". Or the Nats need to move Cordero or zimmerman, or the marlins need to trade cabrera. It is funny then the fans of the other teams act as if they are doing a favor by offering a prospect.

It is the other way around. there are 25+ teams that would happily take him.

Plus do you really think one of the two most well known players being traded away from the team will improve them in the eyes of their fans? Specially when they are just opening the season and opening a new park? Come on guys that is just ignorant. They want to build up a fan base and they need to get name attention to do that. Not trade it away otherwise they will become the marlins part 2 where they do good then dump their players and folks just expect them to lose their talent in a few years and stop caring.

If the Nats trade Cordero they will do so for a deal over the top where the other team has to overpay. You telling me the Yankees wouldn’t want Cordero to become their next closer when Moe is gone and a great setup arm now? How about Boston to work with Papelbon or the next decade or two and make a 8-9 combo that is just sick? How about the Dodgers to add some depth into their bullpen? The mets could always use another good young arm. Philly needs one right now but so do half of the teams in MLB.

So yeah, the phillies fans might want them to trade in division their second most well known player after Zimmerman. But if you want him they would charge you up and ask for even more.

If I was them I would talk to Tampa Bay, get one or two of their young studs and give them the closer that they desperately need. Cordero for Dukes + another prospect? That gives them a big bat for the middle of their order and another solid prospect. Cordero for Upton and another solid prospect? Heck knowing them they might try to offer up Cordero for Baldelli even.

Bourn is an okay player and Carrasco could have potential but in a market where pitching right now is very valuable and the closer to the middle of the season it will become even more valuable. They can get a Pillaging of some teams talent for Cordero.

Do not forget one simple fact, the trade market is on their side. This is a sellers market easily in baseball almost always. They have the cheap salary closer, a position every potential competing team has a huge need for.

What about Armando Benitez from the Giants? The Giants have been looking to deal him for a year and a half and the Phils could easily get him and not have to give up a lot. While he's not your ideal closer, he's got closer experience and a new team could mean a new begining for him

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