Sullivan: How well do good relievers hold up?

From Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs on July 19, 2018:

Many of us went to bed thinking about the Dodgers’ trade for Manny Machado. Many of us then woke up and turned our attention to the Indians’ sudden trade for Brad Hand and Adam Cimber. Travis Sawchik just wrote about the trade at length. Read that, if you’re looking for specifics. Read that, if you’re looking for an explanation of why the Indians gave up a consensus highly-rated prospect. I don’t know what’s actually going to be left for the trade deadline itself, but this has all made for a delightful All-Star week.

From the Indians’ side, this isn’t just about 2018. It’s about 2018 and beyond, because, this coming fall, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen will become free agents. Hand is under contract through 2020, and there’s a club option for 2021. Cimber only just made his debut on March 29. The Indians are thinking both short- and longer-term, and they believe they now have a couple bullpen stalwarts. This is a huge boost for this coming October, but this also reduces the team’s urgency to build out the pen over the winter. The most important pieces might already be in place.

Thinking about the Indians’ side has made me wonder something. Is there actually such a thing as a long-term good reliever?

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Originally published: July 20, 2018. Last Updated: July 20, 2018.