I think this will conclude this year’s rankings for all players, but with the way closer roles can change between now and Spring Training, finishing will be bountiful. There seems to be a big difference among experts in the top-10, and I am no different.  Also, the bottom tiers for the rankings are a “wait and see” proposition, as there are easily 7-8 teams with a closer by committee situation, or at best, a closer who is a retread of a retread.   Everyone knows who you are Fernando, you don’t have to stand up and raise your hand or shoot an arrow fictitiously at me.  So as we approach draft season and beyond, use this list for now, because the situations will be fluid from here on out.  As I promised two weeks ago, you will get a new list every two weeks, with a holds post (no it won’t be in different color for people who just skip the preface of an article) in betwix.  Get excited folks! Spring is sorta here, and with that comes all of Grey’s rankings, my closer and bullpen stuff, and basically every tool under the sun to help you be the best you can be.  Now get out there and win one for Flipper!

  • I am a little leery of Wade Davis.  Yes, he has the goods to back up what he has done, and yes, he is going to a better team.  A team that had less save chances then KC last year (60/53) despite winning more then 22 more games.  More runs and a better offensive teams steal from a closer’s value.  If torn on draft day, skip him and go for the vanilla option in Melancon.
  • I love Edwin Diaz, that is all.
  • David Robertson is tough to rank for me, the trade rumors of him to Washington make total sense. He would hold his value where he is and Nate Jones would be in the bottom-12 closers.  I based some of D-Rob’s value on him getting traded, so take that to heart on draft day.  AL-only leagues, be very scared.
  • Familia has dropped because he is going to miss 20% of the year.
  • On draft day, according to my list, I want two closers before K-Rod is off the books.  It gets really sketchy after that, and from 19-30 in the rankings I could see as many as 30 relievers being drafted for only 12 jobs.  Speculation sucks when you are wrong.
  • If you hate that last piece of advice, then make Brandon Kintzler your favorite third closer.

$12 Salads

You know that restaurant your girlfriend/wife/what-have-you likes to go to that charges, like, $12 for a salad? Every time you go there, you have a thoroughly solid meal. No complaints, except you just paid $12 for a salad when you could’ve went to McDonald’s and stuffed you and your woman for ten schmools and had $2 in quarters left over to make the hotel bed vibrate. These closers are $12 salads.

1. Kenley Jansen – (Sergio RomoPedro Baez)

2. Aroldis Chapman – (Dellin Betances, Tyler Clippard)

3. Zach Britton – (Darren O’DayBrad Brach)

4. Craig Kimbrel – (Tyler Thornburg, Matt Barnes)

5. Edwin Diaz – (Steve Cishek,  Nick Vincent)

6. Wade Davis(Hector Rondon, Koji Uehara)

7. Mark Melancon – (Hunter Strickland, Derek Law)

 

Donkeycorns

Imagine you’re following a donkey, who’s wearing a wool cap, through a desert for 1700 miles. Why are you following a donkey? Because he promises you something wonderful and you just need to trust him. Does the donkey talk? Yes. Yes, he does talk. So when you and the donkey in the wool cap arrive at his destination, he removes the wool cap to reveal a horn. The donkey is a unicorn and his gift to you for your trust is saves. These closers are Donkeycorns.

8. Seung-hwan Oh – (Kevin Siegrist, Trevor Rosenthal)

9. Ken Giles – (Will Harris, Luke Gregerson)

10. Roberto Osuna – (Jason Grilli, Danny Barnes)

11. David Robertson(Nate Jones, Dan Jennings)

12. Cody Allen – (Andrew MillerBryan Shaw)

13. Kelvin Herrera – (Joakim Soria, Brian Flynn)

14. Jeurys Familia – (Addison Reed, Hansel Robles)

15. A.J. Ramos– (Brad ZieglerKyle Barraclough)

16. Sam Dyson– (Jim Jeffress, Matt Bush)

17. Alex Colome – (Brad Boxberger, Xavier Cedeno)

18. Francisco Rodriguez – (Alex WilsonJustin Wilson, Bruce Rondon)

19. Tony Watson – (Daniel HudsonFelipe Rivero)

20. Huston Street – (Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey)

 

Employed

These guys are the men that make the save market go round. They punch in, punch out. Have the job, no real threat to speak of, and are basically just there to collect great benny’s so they can take care of their crippled brother. Who is only really crippled because he is scared of the sun.

21. Jim Johnson –  (Arodys VizcainoMauricio Cabrera)

22. Brandon Kintzler – (Ryan Pressly, Taylor Rogers)

23. Adam Ottavino – (Greg Holland, Carlos Estevez, Jake McGee)

24. Neftali Feliz – (Corey Knebel, Carlos Torres)

 

Brain Freezes

I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples, bananas and Carlos Marmol– Wait, he just gave up 12 earned runs and hit Castro in the head with a pick-off throw. Brain freeze! Make it stop! Use the following closers at your own risk.

25. Jeanmar Gomez / Hector Neris –  (Joaquin Benoit)

26. Ryan Madson / Santiago Casilla – (Ryan Dull, Sean Doolittle)

27. Shawn Kelley – (Blake Treinen, Sammy Solis)

28. Brandon Maurer (Ryan Buchter, Carter CappsBrad Hand)

29. Fernando Rodney– (Enrique Burgos Jake Barrett)

30. Raisel Igelsias  / Drew Storen  – (Michael Lorenzen)

 

 

30 Comments
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Earl
Earl
5 years ago

I am thinking about trying to get 2 good closers around round 7&9 in 12team roto league after getting 2 good staters. What do you think of that strategy? Thanks

Crabman
Crabman
5 years ago

Does Uehara have any relevance in Chicago for holds?

Wil
Wil
5 years ago

Kelley is the Nats closer right? Why is he so low closing for a team who’s gona win 95 games?

Blind Umps have rights too (seriously their union is that strong)
Blind Umps have rights too (seriously their union is that strong)
Reply to  Wil
5 years ago

@Wil: since
1. dusty is an assclown who barely gave kelley job last year even though kelley was a top 15 RP in ALL of baseball last year.
2. the WAS K-Rob talks are in news all the damn time and WSOX have no reason to hold onto his big contract.

danny almonte
danny almonte
5 years ago

Are you not into Raisel? How about in a svhld league?

peacecoast
peacecoast
5 years ago

Will you guys be publishing a middle reliever article for S+H guys like me? I think there was one last year.

Or is it just a question of finding the middle relief and setup guys for good teams and then choosing the high K ones?

The Eye of Horus
The Eye of Horus
Reply to  peacecoast
5 years ago

@peacecoast: Check out the previous article by Smokey. It’s exactly that.

Rufus Xavier Sasparilla
Rufus Xavier Sasparilla
5 years ago

Smokey
What’s your take on the Atlanta situation? I read conflicting reports on how Cabrera is their “closer of the future” but he seems to be behind Vizcaino. Do you anticipate either one of those two ascending to closer this season? In a SV/H dynasty, which two would you hold between Vizcaino, Cabrera, and Knebel?

Thanks a bundle.

The Eye of Horus
The Eye of Horus
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

@Smokey: Thanks. I’ve been confused about their future for at least a year.

Shibboleth
Shibboleth
5 years ago

Hey Smokey! Thanks as always for this. I’m a regular customer haha.

What’re your thoughts on keeping Bedrosian or Colome? Solds league, and they’d be in round 28 so it’s not like I can do wrong :-p

Thanks in advance

Manny
Manny
5 years ago

You see that Capps expects to be ready for Opening Day, and that Andy Green called a healthy Capps a top 3 reliever in all of baseball? Makes me think he could be closing by the end of April & be one of the best values out there. Snagged him at the end of last season based on your advice & im really thinking about keeping him at $5 in my NL only league depending on how things go this next month. Thoughts on Capps?

P
P
5 years ago

I think there’s going to be another closerpocalypse coming this season.

Roger Podacter
Roger Podacter
5 years ago

I feel like Ottavino has the makings of a $12 salad that has been marked down from being on the shelf for too long.

His numbers pre arm injury were staggaring, but he still plays in Coors so, there’s that.

jon
jon
5 years ago

Great post,

I am in a keeper league

I am starting the year with Jansen Diaz and Allen… pretty solid I think yah? Do you think I need a 4th closer? Its a 10 team Roto league

Justin
Justin
Reply to  jon
5 years ago

@jon: just my thoughts, how many keepers? If less then 15 there is NO NEED to keep 3 closers. Especially in a 10 teamer.

jon
jon
Reply to  Justin
5 years ago

@Justin:

10 team league keep 20

CMUTimmah
CMUTimmah
5 years ago

Value and draft position: 2 of Oh, Osuna, Robertson, Krod, and Familia.

Then one of the rest of the mix.

Those guys are likely locked in as closers all year. The rest have inherent risk (IE, managers pitching their closer to game situation more and more, tough competition from the underlings, etc)

I’m a little concerned if Jimenez starts hot in the minors and K Rod has a rough month that the Tigers might make a move, but it’s a very very very small concern. The org seems to love Jimenez though, which is where my concern comes from.

Steve
Steve
5 years ago

Thanks! Is Betances worth keeping in a Roto now that he doesn’t have closer status? Might be more valuable for ratios and use, eh?