Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bullpen Option?

The FA "Visiting Period" has started as B.J. Ryan was in Cleveland on Monday night, being courted by the Indians. Ryan, the Orioles' closer, would look great at the back end of the bullpen, but he will not come cheap. Ryan is one of the top closers available and will be looking for a long-term deal like Alfonseca and Percival did last off-season (we saw how those worked out).

Ryan, a tough lefty, would give the Tribe 3 lefties in the pen (with Rhodes and Sauerbeck) and if Rhodes is thought to be the 8th inning guy right now, that's a lot of southpaws. Additionally, if Fernando Cabrera is not far away from closing, what's the point of giving Ryan a 3-4 year deal? And what's the harm in giving Wickman another year to raise my blood pressure?

Initially, I was pretty excited about hearing that Ryan was in town, but the more thought that I gave to it, the more I think that the money can be better spent elsewhere (rotation, RF, 1B) as bullpens always seem to be a bit of a crapshoot. Remember that Bobby Jenks closed WS games last year.

I think that the Tribe will go in the direction of re-signing Wickman on another one-year deal and signing another bullpen RH, like Julian Tavarez, to give the Tribe the bullpen depth that was so important in 2005.

Lastly, it looks like Bob Howry will join Scott Eyre in the Cubs' bullpen (for $12M) as the Cubs have made the decision to overpay for all of their FA signees this offseason. Bidding against yourself is not a good strategy.


Baltimoran said...

seeing him pitch in the beginning of the year (orioles never had a lead in the second half), i wasn't that impressed with ryan, i also don't think he's worth the money...give that money to bob sugar's boy

go cavs

david said...

I talk about Ryan on my blog today as well, but I come down on the other side. I think Ryan would be a huge upgrade over Wickman. I think Wick got pretty lucky last year, considering all the baserunners he allowed while only blowing 5 saves. Considering we plan on taking the next step in 2006, I don't like the idea of Wick trying to duplicate that performance again at his age. Better to let him go too early than too late. Ryan is much more dominant when it comes to not letting guys reach base and striking them out to boot. He is only 30, so I don't have a problem with a multi year deal. That will give Carbrera a few years to be a setup man and they can work him into the closers role when the time comes. I really like Ryan and hope the Indians can bring him in. It would be a great start to the long winter ahead.

t-bone said...

Breaking News
White Sox Deal For Thome
The White Sox aren't resting on their laurels. The world champs are set to acquire Jim Thome and cash for center fielder Aaron Rowand. The deal, confirmed by the Phillies, is dependent on players passing physicals.