While the concept of leverage is now widely appreciated, the use of a dedicated closer still has a strong hold in the game. David Laurila of Fangraphs takes an interesting look at the subject, talking to a variety of figures from around baseball. It’s a good read and also bears upon some of the considerations that contending teams will be weighing as they look at upgrades before the trade deadline.
Here’s the latest on the market for relievers:
- There’s still a wide market for Phillies reliever Pat Neshek, per Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network (Twitter link). Among the teams in pursuit are the Brewers, Rays, and Yankees, but it seems there’s no favorite at the moment. While Tampa Bay has been tied mostly to southpaws, the team is also interested in righties such as Neshek, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick noted today on Twitter.
- The Nationals are also in on Neshek, per MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, who also links the Nats to Tigers lefty Justin Wilson and Pirates southpaw Tony Watson. Wilson has drawn wide interest in the midst of an excellent campaign, while Watson has flown somewhat under the radar while scuffling through a down year. The latter has allowed just one earned run in his last fourteen appearances, though he also has managed only a single strikeout in the month of July.
- While the Nationals are still looking at arms, they obviously have somewhat less urgency after landing two quality relievers over the weekend. We have heard that the Nats reached out to the Orioles regarding Zach Britton, who in theory could still be of interest. But Baltimore “didn’t engage the Nationals” before the latter club’s recent deal, Buster Olney of ESPN.com notes. Whether that’s due to the ongoing acrimony between those organizations isn’t clear.
- Mets righty Addison Reed is said to be drawing quite a lot of interest, with the Red Sox are among the teams weighing pursuit, per Rob Bradford of WEEI.com (via Twitter). Boston will surely be casting a wide net as it looks to address what is perhaps a growing need at the back of the pen. Tim Britton of the Providence Journal highlights the need and also looks at some possibilities from the Red Sox’ perspective.
- The Rockies enjoyed tremendous bullpen work early on, but have seen some cracks form of late. Adding to the relief corps sits atop the club’s wish list at the deadline, GM Jeff Bridich said today in an interview with MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (via Jim Bowden, on Twitter).