Yesterday, the Tigers came to terms with Tom Gorzelanny on a one-year contract reported to be in the vicinity of $1 million. As Rob pointed out, Gorzelanny is only the latest addition to a slew of relievers that could be featured in the Tigers' bullpen.
Familiar names such as Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria, Al Alburquerque, Bruce Rondon, Joel Hanrahan, and Blaine Hardy, newcomers like Gorzelanny, Alex Wilson, Josh Zeid, Omar Duran, Tim Melville, Alberto Cabrera, Rafael Dolis, and Jheyson Manzueta , prospects like Ian Krol, Melvin Mercedes, Angel Nesbitt, Chad Smith, and Joe Mantiply and even converted starters like Kyle Lobstein, Kyle Ryan, Buck Farmer, and Drew VerHagen may convene in Spring Training, and a new bullpen will be sorted out.
That's a lot of pitchers. That's enough names that a simple sentence became an incoherent wall of text. In all, there are over 20 players that will be competing for the seven spots that will make up the bullpen.
The bad news is that, of all those pitchers, only three have ever been described as "dominant" -- Nathan, Soria, and Hanrahan -- and two of them have seen their best days come and go. Other than Joakim Soria, who had his own struggles late last season, every single one of those pitchers has serious questions about his ability to be healthy and effective. The good news is that, even if 80 percent of that group fails, there will still be enough left over to cobble together a serviceable bullpen.
So, is this an effective strategy or a disaster waiting to happen?