Tha Sports Junkies 101

The Off-Season Relief Pitching Hunt

Off-Season Relief Ron Cogswell/ via Flickr


The Off-Season Relief Pitching Hunt

As teams watched the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians they witnessed what it takes to bring home a World Series Championship.  One key factor for both teams was the dominance of Relief pitching.  Now as we enter the Off-Season of the MLB season many teams have begun the search for that shut-down Closer to help get them over the hump and make a run at a 2017 World Series.

Some of the names that have hit the market and are looking for their big pay-day are Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon.  These Closers are looking to break the bank and score big contracts that will exceed contracts like that of Jonathan Papelbon and his 4-year $50 million contract he signed with the Nationals just 5 years ago.

Off-Season Relief

Bob Jame/via flickr

Some teams that will be in the mix for these Relievers are: The Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Yankees and the Washington Nationals.  The fact that so many contenders are looking to land a shut down closer means that the bidding wars are about to begin.  The question for each of these teams is how much are they willing to spend on a player that may only pitch an inning or so every few days?

“I do think the way the postseason was played is sort of on top of the mind for everyone right now.” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. “As a result, it could impact the market.”

After people seen the impact a guy like Andrew Miller had on the Cleveland Indians playoff run, we can expect to see the market jump to a level that many wouldn’t have imagined.  Some other quality relief pitchers that are available and will look to land long-term contracts are: Greg Holland, Travis Wood, Neftali Feliz, Brett Cecil, Joe Blanton, Brad Ziegler and others that may help build that bridge from Starters to the 9th inning.

Don’t expect to see Relievers going 3 innings often during the regular season, but teams will be willing to pay more for guys that don’t object to being used wherever and whenever they are called upon.  Also don’t expect this obsession with the Closer to be something that happens every year.  This season is unique in that many Top notch Closers are available and very few front end of the rotation starters will hit the market.

So sit back and enjoy the bidding war and pray that your team lands that guy that will close out the 2017 World Series for you.