7. Dylan Floro, Miami Marlins
Floro was Miami’s best reliever last year and figures to open the season as their closer after taking over that role in September, even after Miami acquired Matt Barnes from Boston this week. He started last season on the injured list with a shoulder issue, but he gradually worked his way back up the depth chart to be the closer. The 32-year-old righty has been effective since the Dodgers traded him to the Marlins two years ago, as he has a 2.91 ERA in 117.2 innings as a Marlin. He has executed his best pitch, his sinker, very well, as he has given up jus six home runs in that time span.
6. David Robertson, New York Mets
Robertson spent all of 2020 and most of 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery before signing a prove-it deal with the Cubs last year and returned to vintage form between the Cubs and Phillies last year, going 4-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 58 games and 63.2 innings pitched between the two teams. The Mets rewarded him with a one-year, $10 million deal to be one of the team’s late-inning relievers. Robertson has been to the postseason eight times in his 14-year career, including a World Series trip with the Phillies last year.
5. Adam Ottavino, New York Mets
There were people that doubted Ottavino’s ability to return to vintage form last year, but those takes turned cold as he was reliable through much of the season for the Mets. He returns to Queens as one of their late inning relievers on a new deal that saw him earn a pay raise of over $3 million for this season. His slider was off the charts effective at age-36 and induces one of the lowest average exit velocities in baseball. Look for him to have another strong season in 2023.
4. Jose Alvarado, Philadelphia Phillies
There are no clearly defined roles for the Phillies’ relievers going into spring training, but among their core relievers, Alvarado has been the best in high-leverage situations, as Rob Thomson called upon him to get lots of big outs last year. As a lefty reliever, his numbers were better against righties (.188 average against) than lefties (.237). However, he is remembered for serving up the World Series winning home run to Yordan Alvarez last fall in what was a terrible managerial decision by Rob Thomson.