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Elephant Rumblings: Bullpen revamp taking shape

MLB news roundup

Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, guys!

There’s been a lot of talk about the starting rotation and the options for the Opening Day starting five. There’s a bunch of young, talented arms that the club has invested a lot of capital in, especially in the trade department. And it’s worth the attention that the fans and team have given to them after last season’s tough results from the starting pitchers.

But the starters are only half of the staff, and the relievers last year were arguably just as bad on the whole as the starters. Add in the fact that the club saw closer Trevor May retire at the end of the season, and a bad bullpen has only gotten worse this offseason, at least on paper.

It seems like the front office building this team know that fact too, as they’ve begun retooling the bullpen. The team gave its only Major League contract to Trevor Gott, helping replace the veteran presence that May provided for a young group. He’s not the biggest get for a team desperate for arms, but anything helps. His numbers last year are better than most relievers on the roster today. He could be a high-leverage option for Mark Kotsay.

The club has also announced that Mason Miller will slide into the bullpen, at least for this upcoming season. He could very well be the closer. Behind those two locks are righties Zach Jackson and Dany Jimenez, and lefty Sean Newcomb. Those guys are likely locks, too, but Jackson is coming off a big injury and Jimenez’s underlying numbers aren’t great. Add in a starting pitcher that misses out on a spot in the starting rotation, and you have the majority of the 2024 bullpen already on the roster.

Of course there are going to be injuries and poor performances from some of those guys. There’s still room to add another quality arm (or two, or three) to that group but it would be surprising for the club to spend what little money it has on the bullpen. There’s a lot of interesting arms that the club has been acquiring this off-season to be depth down on the farm. After the Gott signing, you can safely expect the club to go back to adding pitchers on minor league deals.

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