Closing Time 7/24: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday

Rick Graham's weekly Closers update is live for 7/24, ranking all 30 closer situations.

[closing_time list_id=”23966″ season=”2018″ include_stats=”1″]

  • With plenty of moves to be made over the next week leading to the trade deadline, this weeks publication of this list was one of the most difficult when factoring in the implications some of these potential trades may have. Tier one is basically the only tier where the deadline shouldn’t have an impact on those 7 closers. Then once we get into tier 2, it becomes another story. Seranthony Dominguez has been great this season, but it’s well known that the Phillies have been looking for bullpen help still. It doesn’t look like they are in on Zach Britton anymore so any move they make will likely be for a lesser valued reliever, possibly someone in tier 4. Keone Kela‘s name has popped up in several rumors recently, with the Diamondbacks and Pirates both interested. He’d be a nice 8th inning option for Felipe Vazquez in Pittsburgh, while his role in Arizona is a little murkier. He’s probably a better option than Brad Boxberger but I don’t think he’d be given the job there, at least to start with. Hector Rondon‘s future as closer becomes even more cloudy with the Astros all in on Zach Britton. That’s the one finalist for Britton that could actually keep his save only league value intact, so let’s give Britton about a 25% chance of being valuable in standard leagues a week from now. EDIT: it sounds like the Yankees will land him as soon as tonight.
  • Two trades that have already happened over the past week have shaken up the rankings as well. There’s no clear cut winner in the Brad Hand trade, although it would be Kirby Yates if he avoids being traded himself. I know the plan is to keep Cody Allen in the closer role, but at some point (when Andrew Miller returns?), Terry Francona may have to make that swap and push Allen back down into more of a setup role. I’d hold onto Hand for a little while while Yates should still be added in all leagues despite the rumors he’ll be dealt. Craig Stammen and Phil Maton become interesting stashes in deeper leagues. Jeurys Familia was the other big named closer to be dealt, going to the Athletics where he should work exclusively as Blake Treinen‘s set up man. The deal shouldn’t affect any relievers on Oaklands end, but Robert Gsellman value obviously gets a boost as he gets to act solely as the Mets closer.
  • AJ Minter has been doing a respectable job filling in for Arodys Vizcaino, and at this point could be considered the Braves full time closer. Vizcaino won’t even start throwing again for another 2-3 weeks and it could be over a month before we see him on an MLB mound again. Minter is definitely worth an add with the upside he brings. Sean Doolittle foot injury is worse than initially expected and could keep him out for a large chunk of August. Kelvin Herrera now becomes a must add in most formats, especially for those hurting in the saves department. Brandon Morrow is also dealing with another injury, this time bicep soreness, which is never a good sign for a pitcher. He isn’t expected to miss too much time, but the Cubs aggressiveness to add a top-notch reliever could be a sign that they are worried about his health going forward.

Rick Graham

Rick resides in the Boston area and has experience as a player and coach at the collegiate level. He has been covering relievers for Pitcher List since 2017.

10 responses to “Closing Time 7/24: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Tuesday”

  1. Avatar Syryn says:

    Why the drop for Will Smith? He continues to be in sole control of the saves for SF and numbers are still very dominant

  2. Avatar Ross Stinemetz says:

    Same Question. Why aren’t you gettin jiggy with Will Smith?

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      Last night was Smiths first save since July 6, and he wasn’t particularly sharp the last two times out. Plus now that Hand/Britton are off the market, I’d expect teams looking for a late-inning lefty reliever to check in on him. The Giants are fading from the playoff race, Smith is a UFA after next season and this very well could be the peak time to trade him. Could see a team like the Astros or Red Sox get aggressive here after missing out on Britton and Hand.

      • Avatar Jim says:

        Kela and Barraclough are in the exact same boat, and higher. Guys like Blake Parker should be nowhere close to Smith based on numbers, yet Parker is higher. I think you’re underselling Smith and his fairly impressive season thusfar. Not to mention the relationship between Posey and Smith is unique and adds to his job security once Strickland returns and speak volumes why he has the job over Watson and Melancon atm.

  3. Avatar Nolan says:

    Would Kirby Yates move into T2 if you knew he wasn’t being traded?

  4. Avatar PitcherList Superfan says:

    Where would Osuna rank when he returns? I own Kimbrel, Iglesias, Morrow (DL) and Yates but Osuna is on the waiver wire in my 8 teamer and I’m thinking of dropping Yates to stash him. Thoughts?

    • Avatar Rick Graham says:

      I think you can make that move. The Padres should move Yates while his value is this high, and it’s about that time to add Osuna in leagues where he is not owned yet.

  5. Avatar David C. says:

    Two big questions; Yates seems to be on the move, like you say. Stammen or Maton?

    And if Greene gets moved, where does Jimenez rank? Everyone I keep speaking to, keeps praising Jimenez!

  6. Avatar David C. says:

    Who do you want from this list? Hicks, Jimenez, Hildenberg, Givens, Gsellman, Stammen/ Maton?

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