Welcome to Closing Time where all the closers and speculative save options are are broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk. It’s a mixture of short and long term value with more focus placed on the long haul.
Added next in line arms in case a closer gets hurt or starts to get shelled.
Share your questions and critiques in the comments. Follow me on twitter @HisDudenessOfNY for the occasional snippet.
1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers) – Pedro Baez
2A. Wade Davis (Kansas City Royals) – Kelvin Herrera
2B. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees) – Andrew Miller
2C. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox) – Koji Uehara
2D. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles) – Darren O’Day, Brad Barch, Mychal Givens committee
6. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets) – Addison Reed
7. David Robertson (Chicago White Sox) – Nate Jones
8. Mark Melancon (Pittsburgh Pirates) – Tony Watson
9. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays) – Drew Storen, maybe an ugly committee
10. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs) – Pedro Strop
11. Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals) – Kevin Siegrist. Maybe Seung Hwan Oh
12. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins) – David Phelps, maybe Kyle B
13. Santiago Casilla (San Francisco Giants) – Hunter Strickland, Sergio Romo
14. Ryan Madson (Oakland Athletics) – Sean Doolittle
15. Luke Gregerson (Houston Astros) – Ken Giles, Will Harris
16. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians) – Bryan Shaw
17. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves) – Ugly committee with Jason Grilli and Jim Johnson
18. Francisco Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers) – Justin Wilson
19. Fernando Rodney (San Diego Padres) – Ryan Buchter
20. Steve Cishek (Seattle Mariners) – Nick Vincent
21. Sam Dyson (Texas Rangers) – Jake Diekman, maybe Matt Bush
22. Jeanmar Gomez (Philadelphia Phillies) – Hector Neris, maybe David Hernandez
23. Jonathan Papelbon (Washington Nationals) – Shawn Kelley, Felipe Rivero
24. Jeremy Jeffress (Milwaukee Brewers) – Tyler Thornburg got a save last week, maybe Michael Blazek would get a shot
25. Brad Ziegler (Arizona Diamondbacks) – Daniel Hudson, Tyler Clippard
26. Jake McGee (Colorado Rockies) – Boone Logan, Miguel Castro
27. Joe Smith (Los Angeles Angels)
28. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)
29. Kevin Jepsen (Minnesota Twins)
TIER 7 – Potential saves, but risky
30. Tony Cingrani (Cincinnati Reds)
31. Ross Ohlendorf (Cincinnati Reds)
32. Trevor May (Minnesota Twins)
33. Shawn Tolleson (Texas Rangers)
TIER 6B – Speculative
34. Will Smith (Milwaukee Brewers)
35. Sean Doolittle (Oakland Athletics)
36. Andrew Miller (New York Yankees)
37. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)
38. David Phelps (Miami Marlins)
39/40. Daniel Hudson (Arizona Diamondbacks)
41/42. Will Harris/Ken Giles (Houston Astros)
43/44. Joaquin Benoit/Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners)
45. Ryan Buchter (San Diego Padres)
46. Boone Logan (Colorado Rockies)
47. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants)
48/49. Shawn Kelley, Felipe Rivero (Washington Nationals)
– Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)
– Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels)
– Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins)
– Can’t go wrong with anyone in Tier 1. I still like Kenley Jansen as the top dog, even though he just blew two saves, but the other 4 are pretty even.
– Even if Jeurys Familia’s K rate doesn’t pop back up you’re still getting more studly innings than the average reliever.
– Trevor Rosenthal is going to hurt your WHIP. The strikeouts, saves, and plus ERA will be there but buckle up. Same goes for A.J. Ramos although his WHIP downside may be slightly less scary.
– Cody Allen is settling down and worked 5 very strong innings in the last week.
– Really want to pop Sam Dyson in Tier 4A but his leash may be shorter than most and the K rate has been uninspiring. In good time.
– Jeremy Jeffress is a very competent closer but I worry the Brewers will trade him.
– Huston Street will be back in about a week, and will slot into Tier 4A once he proves he’s back. Brad Boxberger should get the call up any day now. I’m still skeptical that he’ll get it done and Alex Colome has been lights out. Throw Box in 4B if he looks good.
– Glen Perkins felt some shoulder stiffness and is shut down for now. Still pessimistic about his chances of getting and staying healthy. Kevin Jepsen and Trevor May have both gotten hit lately, I prefer Jepsen but May has some more lotto ticket upside.
– Not much brewing in the speculative save business. Use your roster flexibility to stream bats/starters in H2Hs and trot out elite setup men in daily rotos.