A Glance at the Free Agent Pool- Relievers


Last time we took a look at the free agent options for starting pitching. The hot stove is heating up, but the Dodgers are yet to pull the trigger on any of the free agents as of yet. Pitching, both starting and relief, is top on the Dodgers’ shopping list this winter. Hiroki Kuroda and James Shields have both received qualifying offers from their respective teams. The Dodgers are also reportedly interested in Kyle Lohse, and Zack Greinke is the cream of the starting pitcher crop this offseason. Although shoring up the starting rotation is Ned Colletti’s top priority before the 2013 season begins, the bullpen could use another arm as well.

Jeremy Affeldt could be too expensive for the Giants to resign. Photo: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

Javy Guerra just underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his right shoulder, Kenley Jansen is recovering from his heart surgery, Scott Elbert is recouping from an elbow procedure, Todd Coffey was bought out of his option and recovering from Tommy John surgery, Paco Rodriguez, Josh Wall, and Shawn Tolleson are inexperienced, Ronald Belisario is unpredictable, and Jamey Wright and Randy Choate are free agents yet to be resigned. The Dodgers could definitely add some more relief pitching to their 40-man roster.

Let’s take a look at the free agent list for relief pitchers provided by mlbtraderumors.com. I have not included categorized “closers” since the Dodgers have just signed Brandon League to a three-year deal, and Ned Colletti has said that he will be used in the closer role.

Right-handed relievers

Jeremy Accardo (31)

Mike Adams (34)

Miguel Batista (42)

Shawn Camp (37)

Todd Coffey (32)

Jose Contreras (41)

Francisco Cordero (38)

Juan Cruz (34)

Joey Devine (29)

Chad Durbin (35)

Kyle Farnsworth (37)

Jason Frasor (35)

Chad Gaudin (30)

Kevin Gregg (35)

Jason Grilli (36)

LaTroy Hawkins (38)

Livan Hernandez (38)

Jason Isringhausen (40)

Bobby Jenks (32)

Brad Lidge (36)

Matt Lindstrom (33)

Kameron Loe (31)

Mark Lowe (30)

Brandon Lyon (33)

Guillermo Mota (39)

Juan Carlos Oviedo (29)

Vicente Padilla (35)

Brad Penny (35)

Joel Peralta (37)

Chad Qualls (34)

Ramon Ramirez (31)

Jon Rauch (34)

Francisco Rodriguez (31)

Takashi Saito (43)

Koji Uehara (38)

Jose Veras (32)

Jamey Wright (38)

Left-handed relievers

Jeremy Affeldt (34)

Sean Burnett (30)

Tim Byrdak (39)

Randy Choate (37)

Dana Eveland (29)

Pedro Feliciano (35) – $4.5MM club option

Brian Fuentes (37)

Mike Gonzalez (35)

Alex Hinshaw (30)

J.P. Howell (28)

Will Ohman (35)

J.C. Romero (37)

George Sherrill (36)

Hisanori Takahashi (38)


The list isn’t too pretty. Colletti has already said that he would like to resign Jamey Wright and Randy Choate, but deals are not yet imminent. With Ronald Belisario, Kenley Jansen, and Brandon League, the Dodgers have a great late-inning trio. If the Dodgers sign Jamey Wright to a Major League deal, he can once again assume the role of long-man/mop-up guy. It’s a job that he performs admirably. Actually, Don Mattingly was increasingly using Wright in higher leverage situations during the final stretch of the season since Wright was pitching well. So the Dodgers will need to find some middle relief preferably. They’ll need that bridge between the starting pitcher and the late-inning arms.

Randy Choate and Scott Elbert can be great left-handed specialists. The Dodgers will have to carry at

How long will 43-year old Takashi Saito continue to pitch for? Photo: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

least two southpaws in the pen this year to compete with the other bullpens in the league. They went far too long relying on only one lefty which was Scott Elbert most of last season before they acquired Choate. Paco Rodriguez is a fascinating option as well, and he might very well make the Opening Day roster if he performs well in the Spring. The left-hander was freshly drafted last season, and he made his debut with the Dodgers on September 9th. He went 0-1 with a 1.35 ERA in 6 2/3 innings for the Dodgers in 2012. He only allowed one earned run and just 3 hits while striking out 6 and walking 4.

The Dodgers would only add more depth to the bullpen if they could sign another experienced arm. As I skim the names on the list, I feel a bit nauseous. George Sherrill, Brad Penny, Guillermo Mota, Vicente Padilla, and quite a few other 38-year olds and older pitchers. No thanks, maybe the Dodgers should just go with the young guns.

Who do you think the Dodgers should sign this winter for relief pitching?