Gotta have a top closer! You shouldn’t pay for saves! Deep relief units are cost-efficient! The prevailing sentiment regarding relief pitching has been near as volatile as relief pitchers themselves.
Did you see how the Rays used all those arms to make it into the postseason?! The Nats won the World Series with that bullpen?! The Yankees had a really good, really expensive group of relief hurlers; the Indians had a really good, mostly cheap unit.
Let’s just be honest with ourselves: there’s no single right way to compile a roster and no single, lasting trend in this arena. There are more hard-throwing, talented young arms in the game than ever before. But the craft of pitching is only getting tougher to master. More and better arms, as durable and versatile as possible, in as cost-efficient a manner as possible. That’s what teams are pursuing, first and foremost.
With long flies leaving the yard with startling frequency last year, many organizations were left with odious results…