1. Mariano Rivera
2. Jonathan Broxton
3. Francisco Rodriguez
4. Jose Valverde
Rivera's free agency is nothing more than a formality, as he will either re-sign with the Yankees or retire.
Broxton was closing at an All-Star level before being traded from the Royals to the Reds, with 23 saves and a 2.27 ERA. He's been a reliable setup man in Cincinnati, and should be able to find a multi-year deal in either role.
K-Rod will likely get back to closing after setting up John Axford in Milwaukee for the last year and a half, while Valverde may have hit the end of the line as a legitimate ninth inning guy. If nothing else, he will have to settle for substantially less than the three-year, $23 million deal that just expired.
1. Mike Adams
2. Luis Ayala
3. Jason Grilli
4. Joel Peralta
5. Brandon Lyon
6. Brandon League
7. Jon Rauch
8. Ramon Ramirez
9. Francisco Cordero
Adams is the best setup man in baseball, and he could get the biggest contract of any reliever on the market this offseason. The Rangers will no doubt look to retain him, but there will be a number of teams vying for his services.
The rest of the guys on this list have proved to be reliable veterans, with Ayala (66 G, 2.64 ERA) and Grilli (64 G, 2.91 ERA) in particular boosting their stock with solid seasons. All of these guys should be able to land major league deals.
1. Shawn Camp
2. Chad Durbin
3. LaTroy Hawkins
4. Jason Frasor
5. Juan Cruz
6. Jamey Wright
7. Kyle Farnsworth
8. Clay Hensley
9. Kevin Gregg
10. Mark Lowe
11. Chad Qualls
Camp inked a minor league deal with the Cubs last offseason and wound up leading the league appearances with 80, posting a 3.59 ERA.
Durbin was also impressive in a deep Braves bullpen, making 76 appearances and posting a 3.10 ERA. Beyond him, all of these guys have been viable relievers throughout their careers and should be in line for big league deals in the right situations.
1. Brett Myers
2. Carlos Villanueva
3. Vicente Padilla
4. Miguel Batista
5. Livan Hernandez
Myers spent the past season pitching in relief, closing for the Astros and setting up for the White Sox, but he has proven capable of being a solid starter during his career as well and could return to that role.
Villanueva proved vital for the Blue Jays this season after a number of their starters went down with injuries, as he moved from the bullpen to rotation and made 16 starts. He was better as a reliever, but has proven a capable starter and that versatility should make him an attractive option.
The other three guys are all aging veterans who would no doubt prefer to start, but may have to settle on bullpen spots to continue their careers.
1. Fernando Rodney ($2.5 million, $250K buyout)
2. Rafael Soriano ($14 million, $1.5 million buyout)
3. Grant Balfour ($4.5 million, $350K buyout)
4. J.J. Putz ($6.5 million, $1.5 million buyout)
5. Joakim Soria ($8 million, $750K buyout)
6. Ryan Madson ($11 million mutual, $2.5 million buyout)
7. Octavio Dotel ($3.5 million, $500K buyout)
8. Matt Capps ($6 million, $250K buyout)
9. Matt Lindstrom ($4 million, $200K buyout)
10. Todd Coffey ($2.5 million, $300K buyout)
11. Jose Contreras ($2.5 million, $500K buyout)
Rodney was arguably the best closer in baseball this season, and he'll be a steal at $2.5 million next season. Balfour and Putz are both relatively inexpensive and have proved reliable, so they should have their options picked up as well.
Soriano will likely opt out of his contract and look to negotiate a long-term deal with the Yankees before hitting the open market.
Soria and Madson both missed the entire 2012 season with injuries, so it's likely that their options will be declined, as will Capps' $6 million option on the rebuilding Twins. The rest of the group is relatively inexpensive, so it's a toss-up as to whether they'll be retained.