Commentary

Relief Efforts: Spring bullpen rankings

Updated: March 12, 2009, 12:28 PM ET
By Eric Karabell | ESPN.com

With spring training well under way, it's time to take a quick glance at the bullpens of each MLB team. We'll figure out who's slated to earn saves at this point and who's next in line. We'll also give you a couple of other names worth keeping a close eye on throughout the spring and into the season. We'll update this list throughout the spring as news warrants.

Note: Chart updated March 11. These rankings reflect the overall value of a team's relief corps for fantasy, in addition to the closer. They are different from the relief pitcher rankings found elsewhere in the draft kit. For example, the Royals' Joakim Soria is our No. 4 closer, but because no other relievers on his team are fantasy-worthy at this point, the Royals' bullpen ranks ninth. The Angels, on the other hand, have multiple relievers of interest.

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Other news and notes: Keep an eye on the Cubs. Someone will close games, and although you might not believe it, it really might not be Carlos Marmol. This is a potential 95-win team with numerous relievers who could earn saves, and Kevin Gregg has experience. ... The Astros' Jose Valverde was treated for a forearm infection, but this injury isn't related to pitching or to his elbow, so there's no need to worry. ... A year ago, we kept pumping up Casey Weathers in Colorado for potential saves, so why isn't he listed here at all? Weathers had Tommy John surgery. We'll see him in 2010. The Rox have the makings of a nice bullpen. ... What are the Mariners doing? Who really knows? I still think Tyler Walker will play a key role in saves at some point, and Brandon Morrow will not. Don't forget about the team's top 2008 draft pick, Joshua Fields. He's signed and could move through the system quickly. ... Look for these rankings and notes to be updated as news warrants, so check back often.

Eric Karabell is a senior writer for ESPN.com who covers fantasy baseball, football and basketball. He has twice been honored as fantasy sports writer of the year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. His new book, "The Best Philadelphia Sports Arguments," was published by Source Books and is available in bookstores. Contact Eric by e-mailing him here.

Eric Karabell | email

ESPN.com Senior Writer