The holidays aren’t just for spending on gifts, they’re for spending on relievers as well. Actually, the rush on bullpen help usually comes soon after New Year’s Day. That’s when teams figure they can do some bargain shopping, thinking the quantity of available relievers will keep costs down, especially for right-handers — not exactly an endangered species as veterans including Will Harris, Hector Rondon, Steve Cishek, Daniel Hudson and many others are still looking for jobs.
“Clubs will repeatedly remind the [righty] relief pitchers that they have plenty of options,” one prominent agent opined this week. “Those circumstances set the stage for values to fall.”
But in this annual cat-and-mouse game, these free-agent pitchers have something stuck in the back of their minds: the early signings, which signaled that there would be money for the middle men, and not just for the high-priced starters who have come off the board.
“Chris Martin‘s deal is one players see and feel they can get a piece of,” another agent said. “Two years is a starting point for many.”
Martin signed a two-year, $14 million contract with the Atlanta Braves after a solid 2019 campaign in which he had a…