Bradford has continued to be an effective reliever this season, posting a 2.45 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 40.1 innings pitched for the Orioles. The 33-year-old, who also has 16 holds, has defied the odds in his pitching career to this point, practically grabbing dirt in his delivery to fool hitters with his pitches and induce ground ball outs.
One of the main figures in Michael Lewis' bestselling book Moneyball, Bradford, then just a fringe prospect with the Chicago White Sox, emerged to become one of the faces of players undervalued in the market. Since Billy Beane acquired him and brought him to the Oakland Athletics, he has flourished at the major league level. In 520 appearances, he has posted a 3.31 career ERA while walking only 127 batters in 486.1 innings.
Bradford adds another solid piece to the bullpen puzzle in Tampa Bay, which saw its relief corps post the highest ERA in the past half century just a year ago. As a groundball pitcher, he will reap the benefits of having one of the majors' strongest defenses playing behind him. Top pitching prospect David Price may be on the way to provide a boost in the Rays' surge for the playoffs as well, though it is unclear at this point what his role will be.