The Best Bullpen in Rays History

The title did belong to the 2008 bullpen, until now:

Year tRA FIP AL R/G
2009 4.41 3.87 4.81
2008 4.58 4.18 4.78
2007 5.93 5.31 4.9
2006 5.34 4.87 4.97
2005 5.41 4.86 4.76
2004 5.01 4.4 5.01
2003 5.15 4.68 4.86
2002 N/A 5.2 4.81
2001 N/A 4.63 4.86
2000 N/A 4.49 5.3
1999 N/A 4.45 5.18
1998 N/A 4.36 5.01

A little over half of a season remains, so the argument can be made that I'm being a bit trigger-happy with the proclamation. Still, the front office has successfully avoided regression by adding a surplus of depth and useful parts that most glazed over when talking about the Rays bullpen this year.  The Rays best additions were Lance Cormier and a pair of LOOGY. None of which came very expensive. Joe Nelson might be the biggest bust in the entire pen and his salary is 1.3 million.

Hitting on every single signing is an unabashed fantasy, but the facts are the team has shown an affinity for low-cost relievers and the propensity to select the best of the bunch. Luck absolutely plays into the equation - from injuries, to a downed-market, to teams potentially undervaluing ‘soft-tossers' - the reality of it all is this; the Rays are running out the best pen in team history and most of the success has came without two of their higher paid relievers.

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