Yesterday, the Florida Marlins acquired three relievers to flesh out their bullpen. One can't help but speculate that they were acquired to compete for the closing role that will likely be vacated by Joe Borowski, last season's closer.
The market for successful relievers has been set by 35-year-old lefty specialist Jaimie Walker (3YR/$12MM) and righty reliever Justin Speier (4YR/$18MM). In that environment, Borowski should be able to land, at a minimum, a Todd Jones 2YR/$10MM deal. And the Marlins aren't willing to pay contracts nearing any of those deals.
(FWIW, the Marlins should have dealt Borowski last season. Would the team have prefered to receive a minor leaguer or two or pay a six- or seven-figure bonus to a sandwich pick?)
For my money, I am going to bet that the major-league tested acquiree,Kevin Gregg, is the most likely to close in 2007. He has decent Ks (71 in 78 IP) and decent control (21 BB). Add-in experience, and you have an attractive option
Relievers Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom are the sexiest of the three due to their radar guns readings and attendent strikeout numbers, 74 in 40 IP in AA and 70 in 58.2 IP respectively. I expect both to be listed as sleeper candidates for saves despite Gregg's leg-up.
Personally, I like LHP Taylor Tankersley, but I can see him being deemed to valuable to pitch in just save siutations when his leftiness is need in the 7th and 8th innings aginst the most fearsome of left-handed batters.