March 3, 2016
The -Only League Landscape
National League Relief Pitchers
I wrote this article thinking that deep-league NL-only roto players already know who is closing for each team. I will mention the closer for each team as a reference, but I’ll spend more time talking about the non-closers in each bullpen.
Jason Grilli will get the first shot at the closer role in Atlanta. The good: his K rates, ERA, and WHIP are excellent when he pitches. The bad: he’s 39 years old, he’s coming off a season that ended earlier due to injury, and he’s in the final year of his contract. Since the Braves are not expected to contend in 2016, they’ll be hoping for Grilli to stay healthy, avoid meltdowns, and rack up saves long enough for them to trade him for someone younger than 39 who will be under team control beyond 2016. Make sure to account for Grilli’s trade risk when setting your bid limits. If traded, he likely won’t be the closer with his new team. If your league doesn’t count stats for players traded to the AL, Grilli’s excellent strikeout numbers, ERA, and WHIP won’t help you.