Oh well, anyway - so with him and the imminent oliver signing, what do we have? we have a pretty damned good idea what the opening day bullpen will look like, with only potential movement in the rotation creating any doubt (barring stunning ST failure).
first, briefly, on the rotation: I've become more and more convinced that unless there's a Ninja Trade, the team WON'T acquire a high profile SP before the season starts. i'm positive we won't seen any Paul Maholm types drug in to fill out the bottom of the rotation, and the top end guys are wildly too expensive. If AA could convince a rival GM to do something completely nuts for a young guy (like Michael Pineda just to name a name) then yeah but otherwise, we're set.
Now, what we are set with looks like this:
(Ignore rotation positions, these are listed in order of most likely to be in the rotation on opening day)
If Drabek makes the rotation, he will either push Cecil to the 'pen, or Alvarez back to the minors (pretty unlikely). the only other reasonable alternative is McGowan going to the bullpen. Which is to say you have a non-zero chance that one of Cecil or McGowan displaces someone currently ticketed to the bullpen.
If there is a rash of injuries or failures in that group, Villianueva, Listch, Carreno and Perez (in that order) stand in line to sub early on. McGuire, Jenkins and Hutch are a few months away at best.
Now, with that caveat explained...
1. Santos - Closer. Full stop.
2. Frasor - RHSU on any day he's physically available and needed.
3. Oliver - LHSU on any day he's physically available and needed
4. Janssen - 7th inning pivot man, on any day he's available and needed
that's the heartbeat of the bullpen.
5 & 6. Villianueva and Listch - both capable of multiple innings, both capable of stepping up when some of the above are over-worked. Both out of options.
7. Perez - LOOGY first but capable of more, also out of options.
the lack of options on the lesser guys here means we pretty much know who the seven are unless something happens. if a starter falls to the bullpen, then things get interesting as to how they manage the roster vis-a-vi the option issue. which most likely means that even if both pitch real well in ST, one of Alvarez or Drabek will go down rather than the team lose a valuable asset on the waiver wire.
Bullpen depth looks like this:
1. Joel Carreno - starts in the minors, first call to the pen.
2. Chad Beck - based on raves last year, has a slight edge on rest of the field.
3. Andrew Carpenter - intriguing rations once he shifted to the 'pen
4. Jesse Chavez - good control in AAA, disappears in the majors
5. Trystan Magnuson - respectable in high minors
(also Aaron Laffey, Jim Hoey, Danny Farquhar, Scott Richomond, Jerry Gil)
But, again, it takes injury or disastrous work to get any of these guys in the door (although
Carreno could probably do fine work from day one if there was an opening).
I'm prepared to stipulate the entire pitching staff if you can tell me what Drabek and Alvarez will do in ST.
The other side of the roster is pretty packed out too, as it stands - though I think we need a better middle infield reserve than Mike McCoy - but that's a discussion for another day.