We're just one week into the season, and a host of teams already have ninth-inning concerns.
Reliever volatility is not a new concept. We’re all used to the closer carousel that sustains itself on poor performance and injury as it turns throughout the season. What happened this week, however, bordered on a league-wide implosion of closers. Let’s take a look at who is left standing after the week that was.
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The first-year Tiger has a longer résumé in the ninth inning, but is he a better value than the bearded Giant on draft day?
It happens in every draft. That moment when, despite your best intentions to avoid forking over a draft pick for a closer, you realize you’ll probably need to at least be somewhat competitive in saves if you’re going to make a run at your standard league title. And while I prefer waiting and speculating on saves as much as the next guy, there’s very definite value to be had in grabbing an established closer to anchor your bullpen in these formats. When that moment comes, and you’re actually going to sacrifice a pick to make this scenario a reality, it’s really important that you come through with the safest option possible to bag you the saves you need.
So, let’s take a look at a couple of the “safer” proven-closer types you’re likely to encounter around the middle rounds of your draft. In one corner, Joe Nathan, the newly signed and minted closer for the Detroit Tigers. In the other, Sergio Romo, another veteran coming off of his first full season saving games in San Francisco. Nathan is currently the seventh closer going off the board in NFBC drafts, with Romo following as the ninth closer about two rounds later. Over in Paul’s astute breakdown of relief pitcher tiers, Nathan checks in as a four-star option, while Romo leads the pack of three-star options. Let’s take a look at how they stack up, and see whether Nathan is really worth the slightly higher price on draft day.
A look at fantasy impact of every significant transaction consummated on Tuesday.
After one of the craziest transaction days in recent memory, the fantasy team (literally, it took nearly the entire team given the short notice) went through all 10 transactions with fantasy implications to see who gained and lost value in the last 24 hours. A longer introduction than that is not necessary—let’s get straight to what you came here to read.
Joe Nathan could be a fit for the Tigers, Carlos Ruiz could be headed to Colorado, and Rafael Furcal might be a fit for the Mets.
Tigers Looking for an Experienced Closer
Dave Dombrowski’s seemingly eternal search for a ninth-inning force continues this offseason, as Joaquin Benoit ponders his future in free agency. The 36-year-old Benoit performed well during the final season of his three-year, $16.5 million contract, recording 24 saves in 26 regular-season chances while amassing a 2.01 ERA and 2.90 FIP. Benoit is “in the mix,” but Dombrowski has a host of choices in this winter’s free-agent crop.
As the 2013 season winds down, Mike examines the contract statuses of current closers to evaluate their odds of retaining their jobs in 2014.
With the season winding down, instead of going through the usual exercise of rating relievers by tiers, I thought I would take a look at all 30 closers in Major League Baseball through the lens of their contract statuses. This exercise isn’t intended to offer any predictions on what each team might do this winter, but rather is presented to offer information to keeper league owners who are looking ahead to next year.
The contract information below has been culled from Baseball Prospectus’ contracts database.
Rex Brothers resumes the ninth-inning gig in Colorado, plus other closer-related notes, and the updated tiers and dollar values.
Welcome to another installment of The Bullpen Report. As a reminder, closers are rated in five tiers from best to worst. The tiers are a combination of my opinion of a pitcher’s ability, the likelihood that he will pick up saves, and his security in the job. For example, a pitcher in the third tier might have better skills than a pitcher in the second tier, but if the third-tier pitcher is new to the job or has blown a couple of saves in the last week this factors into the ranking as well.