Kelly, Familia deals set tone for bloated bullpen market

Teams have tons of relief options this winter. They can afford to wait. The relievers? Maybe not so much. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Different agents execute deals at difference paces. Scott Boras has often waited until late January or even February or March to conclude a negotiation on an elite player, as he works for what he believes to be appropriate value. The Levinson brothers, on the other hand, often finish deals at the other end of the offseason -- early -- by running the gamut of teams quickly, determining what they believe to be the negotiating tipping points for their clients, pushing to resolution, and getting them off the board.

It's not a surprise, then, that two of the very first high-end relievers to agree to terms in a glutted bullpen market are both Levinson clients -- Jeurys Familia, who got a three-year, $30 million deal with the Mets, and Joe Kelly, who agreed to $25 million over three years with the Dodgers. Those contracts now will probably begin to cement the scale for what relievers might expect to get this winter -- and could temper hopes significantly.