The trade market remains flush with bullpen options, though Wednesday night's trade that sent All-Star Pat Neshek from the Phillies to the Rockies might just be the domino that gets the reliever market moving. Colorado sent three Minor League players to Philadelphia for the right-hander, adding Neshek to a bullpen that
The trade market remains flush with bullpen options, though Wednesday night's trade that sent All-Star Pat Neshek from the Phillies to the Rockies might just be the domino that gets the reliever market moving.
Colorado sent three Minor League players to Philadelphia for the right-hander, adding Neshek to a bullpen that ranks 13th out of 15 teams in the National League, with a 4.53 ERA.
Neshek was the ninth reliever traded since the All-Star break, joining Player Page for David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, David Phelps, Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson, Anthony Swarzak, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter.
More than a half-dozen teams are still seeking bullpen help: the Nationals, Dodgers, D-Backs, Red Sox, Brewers, Astros, Cubs and Rays have all been connected to at least one of the available relievers. Even after dealing for Neshek, the Rockies could still be in the market for another bullpen arm.
So who are the top arms left and where could they be headed? Let's take a look.
Addison Reed, Mets
The right-hander has appeared in 47 games this season, and while his overall numbers are solid, he's allowed one run in each of his past two appearances. The Brewers, Red Sox and Rays have all shown interest in the 28-year-old, though a source said the D-backs are intrigued by the possibility of bringing the impending free agent back to Arizona.
Justin Wilson, Tigers
The Brewers and Rockies had been connected to the left-hander before Colorado acquired Neshek, though there would surely still be a spot available for Wilson if the Rockies were able to land him. Wilson has another year of control and is quite affordable, making him one of the most appealing arms available.
Brad Hand, Padres
Wilson is nice, but Hand is the most desirable reliever on the market. He's in the midst of a breakout season, has two full years of control remaining and is making only $1.375 million this season. Padres chairman Ron Fowler told a local radio station Wednesday, "Other things being equal right now, I don't see us moving him, because we value him more than what's being offered." That's not to say those offers won't improve, especially as Monday grows closer.
AJ Ramos, Marlins
MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported Wednesday that the Rockies had been talking to the Marlins about Ramos prior to the Neshek trade, though it seems Colorado had been in contact with just about every team shopping a reliever. Miami has already traded Phelps and figures to move Ramos before Monday. The Nationals and Cubs have expressed the most interest to date.
Zach Britton and Brad Brach, Orioles
The Dodgers are said to be interested in pairing Britton with closer Kenley Jansen to form an unhittable duo in the eighth and ninth innings, but it remains unclear whether the Orioles will actually move Britton. The same goes for Brach, who like Britton, has a year of control remaining. If Baltimore decides to trade Britton, it should get a big haul back for the left-hander.
Bud Norris, Angels
Teams have called the Angels about their closer -- as well as fellow right-handers David Hernandez and Yusmeiro Petit -- but sources say nothing has developed. Once the rest of the relievers begin to move, Halos GM Billy Eppler might find some buyers for his bullpen pieces.
Mark Feinsand, executive reporter for MLB.com, has covered the Yankees and MLB since 2001 for the New York Daily News and MLB.com.