Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/8/14
In the final installment of this series, we’ll take a look at some of the relievers that may be available for the Pirates this offseason.   This piece of the series is the hardest to forecast, as the sheer number of relievers on the various fronts of the market coupled with the inherently volatile nature of relievers, makes it difficult to pair a player with a team. The Pirates have a little bit of instability at the back end of their bullpen as Jason Grilli is a free agent right now and there is speculation that Joel Hanrahan could be traded, in lieu of paying his potential $7M+ salary in 2013.  There are internal candidates for both of these positions, but the Pirates would probably be looking to replace at least one of the two this offseason with a new candidate if both are gone.   FREE AGENTS Using the MLB Trade Rumors free agent tracker (click the header to sort by position), you can see that there are the high-priced tier of closer candidates such as Mariano Rivera, Ryan Madson, Rafael Soriano, Joakim Soria,  and Jose Valverde.  If the Pirates aren’t going to potentially pay Hanrahan $7+M, they won’t be springing for any of these guys either. Ideally, if the Pirates are looking to replace Hanrahan and/or Grilli, they’ll want to find a current setup man who could potentially step in as closer.  The things to look for in any reliever, but especially a closer candidate, is strikeout rate (K/9 7.5 or greater), walk rate (BB/9 less than 3.0) and home run rate (HR/9 less than 1.0).  Here are some guys the Pirates may want to look at on potential 1 year deals. Mike Adams – The 34-year old Adams has been a setup man in recent years with San Diego and Texas.  He has all the tools mentioned above in terms of his rate and is coming off of a $4.4M salary in 2012.  He is probably looking for a 3 year deal to cash in one final time, so he may not want a 1 or 2 year deal with the Pirates. Chad Durbin – The 35-year old Durbin is not a strong candidate to be a closer, but perhaps he could be re-purposed as a setup man.  His rates aren’t ideal and his stuff is pedestrian in terms of speed on his fastball, but he could be an interesting value pickup. Jason Frasor – Frasor, 35 in 2013, would be a good candidate to examine as a potential closer or setup man.  Frasor does have 36 career saves, with the most recently in one season being 11 in 2009.  His 93 mph fastball would play well in either role. Matt Lindstrom – Lindstrom seems like the perfect Neal Huntington candidate for a relief pitcher.  His fastball averages 95 and is paired with an 85 mph slider.  The 33-year old has always had good strikeout rates and would be a viable closer candidate. Jason Grilli – Grilli is the most logical candidate to sign as a free agent.  The 36-year old knows the lay of the city, knows the clubhouse, is loyal to Clint Hurdle, and is also highly effective.  He could slide into the closer role if Hanrahan is moved, allowing a player like Bryan Morris to be his understudy in a setup role for a year before moving into the role himself in 2014.   NON-TENDER CANDIDATES I have repeatedly said that the non-tender market is the worst avenue to try and find quality players.  The exception to that is for a reliever, as there are always bargains to be had if you wait out the market long enough. Alfredo Aceves – Aceves may have worn out his welcome in Boston, although some of his antics may have to be attributed to the circus atmosphere fostered by Bobby Valentine.  The 30-year old was the closer in Boston last year for some time, as the Red Sox were beset by injuries, resulting in 25 saves.  His 94 mph fastball and 81 mph curveball were his most effective pitches last year. Clay Hensley – The 33-year old Hensley has had control problems throughout his career (4.2 BB/9 in career, 5.3 in 2012), but his strikeout rate and home run rate have been very good historically.  Hensley could be a guy to watch as a setup candidate. There are many other guys that may come on the horizon as the non-tender deadline draws closer.   TRADE CANDIDATES It is too difficult to forecast what teams may be looking to trade relievers, especially ones that the Pirates may want to pick up as a value-add for the back end of the bullpen.   Most likely the Pirates will wait out the market for a reliever and see if values can be had later on in the offseason, perhaps not until the calendar flips over to 2013.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Redskins could bench Robert Griffin III

Broncos have meeting with scoreboard operator

Report: Cowboys could still pursue Adrian Peterson

Manny Pacquiao: I'm ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

Eric Decker: It's tough watching Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos

Semaje Perine breaks Melvin Gordon's rushing record

Report: Chip Kelly, Eagles GM not seeing eye-to-eye

Pete Carroll open to playing Richard Sherman at WR

WATCH: Eagles take opening kickoff 107 yards for TD

Western Carolina coach blasts Kirk Herbsreit

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

Sager makes first appearance since leukemia diagnosis

Harvard kicker wears glasses

WATCH: Tennessee fans go a little overboard celebrating TD

Dwight Howard out indefinitely after having PRP on knee

Report: Mike Gundy pursuing Florida job

WATCH: Jameis Winston gets away with shoving an official

WATCH: Georgia's Chris Conley makes diving TD catch

WATCH: Nebraska blocks field goal, returns it for TD

Florida DL shows support for Will Muschamp with eye black

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cowboys to pursue Adrian Peterson?

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Bills-Jets game will be free admission

Pete Carroll: Lynch is 'our guy'

Which NFL team will get the #1 pick?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.