No clear leader in Edward Mujica sweepstakes
Cardinals setup man Edward Mujica is the prize, apparently, for at least the Orioles, Indians, Cubs, and Phillies. But recent updates on the reliever's future signing plans indicate that none of the four reported contenders for his services stand out among the others.
Mujica enjoyed a successful year (2.78 ERA in 64.2 IP, 1.005 WHIP, 1.5 WAR) with the NL champion Cardinals, and the Phillies bullpen is in dire need of some upgrades, namely in the setup slot.
Jonathan Papelbon and his ninth inning hellrides will most likely just be a concept fans need to get used to; however, smoothing out the bridge to the Phillies' $50 million closer would go a long way in strengthening the back end. Mike Adams, the man who was supposed to solidify this position last year, seems to be a health risk with a $7 million price tag.
The Indians lost their setup man since 2009, Joe Smith, to the Angels earlier this offseason. The Orioles have been feverishly adding relievers to their bullpen since the free agency starter's pistol, so Mujica seems to qualify for their plans. And the Cubs had a bullpen backed by circus music in 2013 as Carlos Marmol lost his closing job to Kyuji Fujikawa, who lost his closing job via elbow injury to Kevin Gregg, who lost his closing job to Pedro Strop... basically, any solid pitcher the Cubs could add to the back of their pen would be nice.
Only time will tell if the Phillies' willingness to give a reliever three years - somewhat of an absurdity, but seemingly on the table - sets them apart from their competitors for Mujica's services.