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Pivoting to the bullpen


When the season ended it was immediately apparent that the team needed starting pitching. We have a lot of mid and backend guys but no real ace with Shohei gone. Unfortunately the only name that really excited me was Yamamoto, and predictably that did not happen. Currently the likes of Snell and Montgomery are still available. Snell is a walking mess of red flags I hope we do not touch with a twenty foot pole. Montgomery would certainly help out the rotation, although I do have some concerns about having 4/5 pitchers being lefties. I’m not sure how likely him coming over here is either.

Given the current starting pitching market, and the current state of the team, I think it might be best to do as we are currently doing – strengthening the bullpen. As projections have our bullpen being the weakest link in the team.

Currently our rotation is looking something like Detmers, Sandy, Canning, Anderson, Silseth (Suarez is also available and I know the team wants to use Bachman as a starter). Not great, but not an abominable rotation if our guys can be more consistent. And projections do think our pitchers will perform a bit better next year, particularly Anderson. And a bolstered bullpen would help things out.

Personally I hope the team holds off on splashing big money at a risky free agent like Snell. I know that Arte doesn’t believe in rebuilds, and we are supposedly competing next year, but that doesn’t mean we need to spend money for the sake of it. I think the young players should be given time to develop. See if the likes of Adell can finally break out. See where the likes of Rendon and Trout stand and if they can remain largely injure free.

We already have some high octane arms in the bullpen like Joyce and Soriano who just need to dial in their control issues. We just added a top 3 FA reliever in Stephenson and brought back Moore to the fold, two moves I like. Of course there are some risks with focusing on the bullpen, given the volatility of relievers. But a contract for someone like Snell is a far bigger gamble, one I hope the team does not take.

Ultimately I feel this is a year to avoid big spending and let things play out. Continue to spend some cash to bolster the bullpen and some depth and go from there. As next year’s FA class is supposedly much better. And cause realistically we aren’t one or two big moves away from being a contender. Best make some small upgrades and see where the team stands. At least IMO anyway.

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