Blue Jays: Ranking the top 10 relief pitchers in the AL East in 2023
In 2022, the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, and Baltimore Orioles were all in the top ten for bullpen ERA, with the Blue Jays just on the outside, and the Red Sox down near the bottom of MLB. All these teams have geared up for 2023 though, and the AL East is now loaded with reliever talent. Even after the departure of players like Lucas Luetge, Jorge López, and Brooks Raley, there's still tons of talent in these bullpens. Since there are too many names to fully cover in a top 10, here are a few honorable mentions before we dive in.
In Toronto, guys like Adam Cimber and Yimi García had great seasons in 2022 and proved to be some of baseball's most reliable setup pitchers. For the Yankees, veteran Wandy Peralta and rookie Ron Marinaccio both had sub-three ERAs and were integral pieces of one of baseball's best bullpens. The Rays are always loaded with relief talent, with Jalen Beeks and Andrew Kittredge being prime examples of that last season. Orioles relievers Dillon Tate and Cionel Pérez had breakout seasons and look like building blocks for a promising young team in Baltimore. Finally, in Boston, Tanner Houck made a successful transition to the bullpen, and the addition of former Dodger Chris Martin should help lead to improvement on the backend in 2023.
For this list, there will be a few factors that are taken into account. First and most obvious, is past performance, but projecting for the future, using things like advanced metrics and the eye test will also be important. Track record is still important, but this is a list for 2023, so projection matters just as much. This list is also looking at players who are purely relievers, and not long relief guys who sometimes start games, something the Rays are known for doing. With all that out of the way, here are the top 10 relief pitchers in the AL East for 2023.