Several teams are looking for relief help, among them the Red Sox, Marlins and Phillies, whose bullpen may prevent them from reaching what Jimmy Rollins sees as their first-place destiny. And it isn't going to be easy to find relievers. As one GM put it, "No one's pitching looks great. A lot of guys are getting the ... kicked out of them."
That in mind, it's going to be disappointing to hear that Padres reliever Scott Linebrink, who seems permanently on the block, is probably staying put in San Diego. And even Armando Benitez may remain in San Francisco, as well.
The Red Sox have been scouting Derrick Turnbow, Chad Cordero, Brad Lidge and Linebrink in a huge sellers' market for pitching. Boston and San Diego make a lot of trades, but it seems like the longer the Padres hold Linebrink, the more his value rises. And that's despite some so-so spring outings and whispers about past back pain.
The moral of this story is that maybe the Orioles were the smart ones by stockpiling relief pitchers. Chad Bradford for $10.5 million over three years looks like the steal of the winter right now.
The relief market is such that the ever erratic Jorge Julio is looking pretty attractive right now. Oh yes, the Diamondbacks' Julio is one we expect will be dealt.