Jonathan Pettibone, Trevor May, Ethan Martin and Adam Morgan are closer. Pettibone, 22, and May, 23, are formerly of the "Baby Aces," and have risen through the system as promising arms.
Martin, 23, went 5-0 with a 3.18 ERA in five starts at Double A Reading after coming over in the Shane Victorino trade. Morgan, 22, was a third-round pick in the 2011 draft who earned a late-season promotion to Reading after striking out 140 batters in 21 games (20 starts) in 123 innings at Clearwater.
Most of the Phillies' major league-ready relievers have climbed into the big leagues in the last 2 years, including Mike Stutes, Justin De Fratus, Phillippe Aumont and B.J. Rosenberg. Two relief arms who bear watching are 22-year-old Lisalverto Bonilla (1.64 ERA, 46 Ks in 33 innings at Reading) and 23-year-old Tyler Knigge (4-1 with 1.43 ERA in 55 games between Clearwater and Reading).
When the free-agent season began last November, the Phillies wasted little time signing the best arm available to the richest contract for a relief pitcher in baseball history, but they failed to add another effective bullpen arm to supplement Jonathan Papelbon and replace the loss of Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge. A priority this offseason, perhaps as important as finding a centerfielder, is signing a reliable setup reliever.
There are no shortage of options, including Ryan Madson, who will be a year removed from Tommy John surgery in March. Brett Myers is another former Phillie who likely will be available (the White Sox hold a $10 million club option, or a $3 million buyout).
Among players who haven't played for the Phillies, Mike Adams has been one of the best setup relievers in baseball with San Diego and Texas in the last 3 years. Grant Balfour could become available if Oakland doesn't exercise a $4.5 million club option.
Fernando Rodney is coming off a career year for Tampa Bay, and probably will get closer money on the open market. Jose Valverde and Jon Rauch, who also saved games this season, also will be available.
Others arms on the market: Francisco Rodriguez, Matt Belisle, Jonathan Broxton, David Aardsma, Pat Neshek and Jason Grilli. Grilli, who was in spring training in Clearwater in 2011, struck out 90 while walking 22 in 58 2/3 innings for Pittsburgh in 2012.
The Phils likely won't look at starting pitchers, but Anibal Sanchez and Brandon McCarthy are underrated arms in a class led by Zack Greinke.
- Ryan Lawrence