The Unpredictable Relief Pitcher
If you could trade for a 30 year-old relief pitcher who posted a sub-3.00 ERA each of the last 4 years, would you make that deal? If you could acquire a pitcher who had a WHIP less than 1.30 and a K/9 ratio over 10 in 3 of the last 4 years, would you bring him onto your team? How about a veteran with a career ERA of 3.84 and a career WHIP of 1.25?
If you said yes to any of these deals, then you would have acquired Ramon Ramirez, Frank Francisco, and Jon Rauch, respectively.
Bringing those 3 pitchers aboard is exactly what GM Sandy Alderson did over the offseason. So far, the returns have been a disappointment. So much so, that Alderson is once again in the market for a relief pitcher to reinforce the late innings, and possibly even close until Francisco gets back.