It's as if Cubs president Theo Epstein dropped a value grenade right into the middle of the reliever trade market the other day, with the high prospect price he paid for nine-week rental Aroldis Chapman.
That deal has seemingly created a layer of negotiation chaos with less than 100 hours to go before the deadline, because now his peers with other teams are scrambling to reassess asking prices and acquisition costs for relievers, and to quickly identify any new market inefficiency.
The clock is ticking, and one evaluator mused that he thinks the resulting confusion may have been part of Epstein’s plan. There's not really any time for the rest of them to mull over that question.
Here are some simple truths in the reliever market:
1. The Nationals, Indians, Giants and Rangers are all actively seeking bullpen help – with Cleveland seeking a left-hander, preferably — while the Cardinals, Red Sox, Dodgers, Pirates and other teams are open to taking on relievers depending on the player and the price.