Scott Eyre. Bobby Howry. John Grabow. Carlos Marmol, even. One of Jim Hendry's favorite pastimes is apparently writing $6-10 million checks to relief pitchers that lack good resumes.
He also traded away Michael Wuertz the year before he went nuts for Oakland. So it's not like he is just obsessed with relief pitching; I think he just thinks he knows a good relief pitcher when he sees one, and knows which ones are bad, too.
Let's be clear: Jim Hendry knows WWWAAAYYYYYY more about baseball than I ever will. But I'm also confident he knows about as much as I do regarding the performance of any individual reliever, save Mariano Rivera, that ought to be expected for 2012.
This is another way of saying that no one knows how an individual reliever will look in a given year. It's a consequence of small sample size; even the best pitchers have off days, and when you're an RP and you only pitch 50 innings a year those few bad days can really wreck your season.
Of course, Jimmy H. no longer runs this team. And so we've taken a different approach to bullpen building.
Manny Corpas. Andy Sonnanstine. Trever Miller. Frankie De La Cruz. Rodrigo Lopez. Shawn Camp. Ryan Rowland-Smith. Arms. Arms. Arms. Arms. Arms.
This is the right way to build a major league bullpen: gather up a bazillion arms with upside and don't pay any of them more than a couple mil. It's refreshing to see the team operate this way. I guess we'll see if it works out? The stakes are admittedly pretty low this year. But regardless, would you rather it be this way, or pay Luis Vizcaino and Jon Leiber a combined $14 million?
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