When you consider what happened last offseason, it's not overly surprising that few bullpens in baseball have a worse strikeout rate, walk rate or ERA than the Rays. Six prominent Rays relievers hit free agency and signed elsewhere for a total of $67.65MM (a figure that the Rays’ payroll has surpassed exactly once since 2000).
- Rafael Soriano - three years/$35MM, Yankees - Soriano, who missed two and a half months with inflammation in his right elbow, has ugly numbers 16 innings into his new deal: a 5.06 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 6.2 BB/9.
- Joaquin Benoit - three years/$16.5MM, Tigers - Benoit recovered from a slow start to post more respectable numbers. His season stats (4.62 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 2.3 BB/9) aren't nearly as impressive as they were last year, however.
- Grant Balfour - two years/$8.1MM, Athletics - Balfour has been an excellent addition to Oakland's pen, putting up similar numbers to the ones he had with the Rays last year. The 33-year-old has a 1.88 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 43 innings into the season.
- Dan Wheeler - one year/$3MM, Red Sox - Wheeler has a 4.54 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 for the Red Sox. He spent time on the disabled list in May and has recovered from his slow start.
- Chad Qualls - one year/$2.55MM, Padres - Qualls, who was unlucky in 2010, has cut his ERA in half to 3.23 this year thanks to some improved fortune. He has posted 5.1 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 53.0% ground ball rate in 53 innings.
- Randy Choate - two years/$2.5MM, Marlins - Choate, the Marlins' lefty specialist, has a 1.66 ERA with 11.2 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9 this season. He drew interest at the trade deadline, but the Marlins held on.