Earlier this week, I noted what I believe to be the folly of seeking “bullpen aces” or leaning on bullpen games as regular strategy, because they could only ever be effective with a strong rotation to take care of the majority of the innings.
Well, there is another problem. All of the best relievers are getting signed. MLBTR’s top 50 free agents included 14 true relief pitchers. As of Zach Britton’s re-signing with the Yankees, there are now only 5 of those pitchers still remaining: Craig Kimbrel, Adam Ottavino, Kelvin Herrera, Cody Allen and Brad Brach.
For all intents and purposes, Craig Kimbrel is too expensive for almost any team in baseball with his demands. Adam Ottavino is also probably going to price himself out of the Twins’ range. That leaves Herrera, Allen and Brach as attainable free agent options to tangibly improve the Twins bullpen.
To reach a level that one could say the Twins bullpen is formidable, the Twins would need to sign all three, and hope that Allen’s 2018 season was a fluke.
Making a dominant bullpen through free agency was a pipe dream from the beginning, and the market is playing out, it’s an even longer shot now.