We’ve gone over a few lists of sleepers. Gave you some draft lists. Even chucked a player rater your way. This here? This is a sleeper closer list. You won’t find Mariano Rivera on this list, cause he’s not a potential closer. He is a closer. Nathan? Nope. George Sherrill? Yeah, he’ll be here. Got it? Okay, let’s look at a few teams and some potential closers for 2008.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – Troy Percival
Al Reyes – Why did they trade for Percival? A guy who was retired this time last year compared to a guy who was their closer last year. It’s really surprising the Devil Rays are perennial losers; they make such astute baseball moves.
Kansas City Royals – Joakim Soria
Yasuhiko Yabuta – His numbers in Japan were good for Japan, but not great (2.73/1.18). Soria struggled at times to understand that strikeouts are good and walks not good. Tomko has been rumored to be in line if Soria fails, but I didn’t put his name down because Tomko will never be a successful closer and he shouldn’t be drafted in any leagues including 16-team AL-only leagues.
Baltimore Orioles – An in-house mess
Chad Bradford – The Orioles are going into Spring Training with a closer buffet of crap, unless they trade for someone. Bradford is the best arm but all signs seem to want to keep him in the seventh or eighth. There’s a chance the next guy might be their savior (get it?).
George Sherrill – The trade of Bedard to send Adam Jones and Sherrill seems just about complete with Bedard going for a physical as I type this. So Sherrill gets traded and take over immediately as the Orioles closer. Last year his ERA/WHIP was 2.36/.99. He carries a great strand rate, as well. By draft time, he may not even be much of a sleeper anymore. Shoot, by next week.
Florida Marlins – Kevin Gregg
Taylor Tankersley – Do you think Kevin Gregg has another good season in him? The Tank hasn’t shown the promise yet in the majors and he’s a lefty. Maybe he never becomes the closer of the future for the Marlins, then again he’s only 24.
Texas Rangers – C.J. Wilson
Eddie Guardado – The Rangers gave Wilson the role last year and then took it from him as he succeeded. This proves one thing; they don’t like him in the role. By June of ‘08, Everyday Eddie could be simultaneously the worst closer in the majors and have a secure job. I’d run from this, but if you need saves you gotta do it. New math, Guardado + Arlington = Mylanta
New York Mets – Billy Wagner
Aaron Heilman – Wagner made a total meltdown (along with the team) last September. It probably was nothing, but he complained of back pain and he’s going to be 36 this year. I will be drafting Heilman on at least one team this year because the Mets will have late inning comebacks wins this year. Saves for Heilman? Possibly.
There will be more potential closers to come.