A look at the remaining 2010 free agents reveals only a handful of left-handed relievers still available. Of the small group, two names stand out as more reliable options than the rest: Joe Beimel and Ron Mahay.
The 32-year-old Beimel has been one of the more consistent lefties in the majors over the last few seasons, posting a 3.17 ERA in 287 relief appearances since 2006. Mahay, 38, has been nearly as effective, compiling a 3.50 ERA in 234 games over the same period. Both pitchers, however, showed warning signs in 2009: Beimel was tough on left-handed hitters, but walked more righties than he struck out, while batters hit nearly .300 against Mahay.
So where might these veteran relievers land? The Mets have been connected to both recently and seem like favorites to sign at least one of the two, but they've yet to compromise on a price with either pitcher. The Phillies had some interest in Mahay earlier in the offseason, and could still use another left-handed arm in their bullpen, but there haven't been any reports linking the two sides since January.
Do you see Beimel and Mahay exercising a little more patience, perhaps in hopes that a few spring injuries force a team to meet their demands? Or will they have to lower their expectations and sign cheap ($1MM or less) one-year deals, or even minor league contracts?