Just about every team could improve its bullpen and some clubs, like the Marlins and Rockies, are working aggressively to add relievers. Here are some of the names to consider, ordered from highest 2009 salary to lowest.
- Kerry Wood – He's been a disappointment in Cleveland, and the Indians owe him about $15MM before the end of next year, and possibly more in 2011.
- Rafael Soriano – Could the Braves get creative and deal Soriano ($6.1MM) or Mike Gonzalez ( $3.5MM), who will also become a free agent this winter.
- Danys Baez – At $5.5MM, he's an expensive option, but he could help a contender.
- LaTroy Hawkins – He's been effective in 38 appearances for the Astros, who are still in contention and may hold onto Hawkins ($3.5MM) and fellow reliever Jose Valverde ($8MM).
- Rafael Betancourt – He's still nowhere near as effective as he was in 2007, but Betancourt's pitched well enough this year; he'll make $3.35MM this season.
- Russ Springer – He's been hittable, but he can still strike major leaguers out. He makes $3.3MM this year.
- George Sherrill – Affordable and effective, Sherrill ($2.75MM) is under team control through 2011.
- Chad Qualls – The D'Backs already traded Tony Pena, so they may be reluctant to part with Qualls, who makes $2.5MM this season.
- John Grabow – Makes $2.3MM this year, before hitting free agency this winter. He's pitching well, but his control's been off this season.
- Matt Capps – Like Grabow, he makes $2.3MM this year, but Capps will likely hit free agency after 2012.
- Juan Cruz – Still tough to hit, but not as effective as last year, Cruz makes $2.25MM this year and more in 2010.
- Joe Beimel – The 32-year-old lefty makes $2MM this year. He's pitched well, but not quite as well as his 3.57 ERA suggests.
- Takashi Saito – A relative bargain at $1.5MM plus incentives, especially when you consider the affordable team option for next year.
- Heath Bell – At an affordable $1.3MM, the All-Star closer would be appealing to many clubs, especially since he's under team control through 2011.
- Cla Meredith – By far the cheapest option on this list at just $431k, he's had three respectable seasons in a row since his breakout 2006 campaign.
The Twins, Angels, Rangers, Phillies, Rockies and Dodgers are among the teams that could make deals to improve their respective ‘pens.