It’s time to take our beginning of the month look at all the major league closers.  Some closer battles have not been squared away yet.  The Cubs are still holding Gregg over Marmol’s head, the Cards are still reluctant to say Perez, the A’s might split duties between Devine and Ziegler and the Mariners are looking forward to 2010.  Personally, I think the Cubs will split Marmol and Gregg 75/25, taking a little value away from Marmol and adding a lot of value to Gregg.  If Gregg gets any saves, he’s worth a spot on your roster.  I think Devine should and will be the closer for the majority of the year.   I think the Cards will go with Perez out of the gate and he’ll be the closer for the majority of the year.  Though his leash will be short, making Motte a good late flier.  Other good late fliers for the MR. B’s out there who are looking for saves are Jensen Lewis, Chris Ray, Wheeler, Balfour, C.J. Wilson and Corpas.   Anyway, here’s all of the closers for your 2009 fantasy baseball draft, as of right now:

$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. Jonathan Papelbon, BOS (Hideki Okajima, Takashi Saito)
2. Joe Nathan, MIN (Jesse Crain)
3. Brad Lidge, PHI (Ryan Madson)
4. Mariano Rivera, NYY (Damaso Marte)
5. Francisco Rodriguez, NYM (J.J. Putz)
6. Joakim Soria, KAN (Joel Peralta, Kyle Farnsworth)


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 his 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 Donkey-corns.

7. Jonathan Broxton, LAD (Hong-Chih Kuo, Cory Wade)
8. Francisco Cordero, CIN (Jared Burton)
9. Bobby Jenks, CHW (Octavio Dotel, Matt Thornton, Scott Linebrink)
10. B.J. Ryan, TOR (Jesse Carlson)
11. Brian Fuentes, LAA (Jose Arredondo, Scot Shields)
12. Kerry Wood, CLE (Jensen Lewis, Rafael Perez, Rafael Betancourt)
13. Jose Valverde, HOU (LaTroy Hawkins)
14. Chad Qualls, ARI (Jon Rauch, Tony Pena)
15. Carlos Marmol/Kevin Gregg, CHI (If it’s Marmol alone, he moves up these rankings. If it’s Gregg, he moves down.)
16. Heath Bell, SDG (Mike Adams)
17. Brian Wilson, SAN (Bob Howry, Jeremy Affeldt)
18. Matt Capps, PIT (John Grabow)
19. Joey Devine/Brad Zielger (Santiago Casilla)
20. Mike Gonzalez, ATL (Rafael Soriano)
21. Joel Hanrahan, WAS (Saul Rivera)

Brain Freeze

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

22. Frank Francisco, TEX (C.J. Wilson)
23. Matt Lindstrom, FLA (Leo Nunez, Scott Proctor)
24. Brandon Lyon, DET (Fernando Rodney, Joel Zumaya)
25. Chris Perez, STL (Jason Motte, Kyle McClellan)
26. George Sherrill, BAL (Chris Ray)
27. Trevor Hoffman, MIL (David Riske, Carlos Villanueva)
28. Troy Percival, TAM (Dan Wheeler, Grant Balfour)
29. Huston Street, COL (Manny Corpas, Taylor Buchholz)
30. Tyler Walker, SEA (Mark Lowe, Roy Corcoran, Miguel Batista, Richie Zisk, the Mariners Moose)

  1. agarthered says:

    Hey does anyone know if Miggy is going to lose his 3B eligibility in yahoo leagues this year?

  2. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @agarthered: He is not. He’s 1B/3B.

  3. Tony says:

    why does Yahoo not update that stuff? Thats pretty ridiculous he’s 3B eligible. Did he even play one game at 3B last year?

  4. Frank Rizzo says:

    This Closer post has been recycled a number of times.

    Is a $12 salad like Soria really a $12 salad if he’s taken in the 8th/9th round? I’m thinking the price is half off for that salad.

    I’m starting to come around to Rudy’s belief about closers. If you can get good value on one of the top 5, why not?

  5. Frank Rizzo says:

    Anybody know where the best place to find projected starters (pitching/position) for all MLB teams is on the interwebs?

  6. 101 M.P.H. says:

    If Jonathon Papelbon is a $12 salad, does that make Troy Percival the lettuce on on a Big Mac that’s been sitting under a heat lamp for the past 2 hours?

  7. Kevin says:

    The best method for selecting a closer is to bring a dart board to the draft table.

  8. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Frank Rizzo: The fact that you’re defending Soria makes me think he’s already overpriced. He’s still just saves.

    @101 M.P.H.: That’s exactly what it means.

  9. ABell says:

    I agree with Rizzo, I got Nathan in the 10th, and I’m very pleased. Grey, if a snake draft went exactly the way you wanted it, what would be the 2 or 3 RPs you would draft and in what rounds?

  10. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Kevin: That’s works. Or just waiting until the end of the draft and selecting three closers then.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:

    @ABell: I’d take Nathan in the 10th. Usually I’d take 3 to 4 closers anywhere from Broxton to the end of the list. Some time after the 10th round.

  12. Tony says:

    I’ve gotta say nathan in the 10th is crazy late? was that an 8 team league? and soria round 8 on I think is good value? yeah its just saves, but its SOLID saves with good overall stats that come along with those saves. If Soria comes in the 8th on i’ll take him this year, after that I’m waiting until the 10th on for wood, qualls, broxton, fuentes, capps, jenks, etc.

  13. James says:

    I don’t like any brain freezes this year and donkey corns are always over priced. In real life I am forced to purchase $12 salads because it’s apparently in the geneva convention, but I won’t do it in fantasy. Thus, I will completely punt saves for the start of the season. My plan is to draft pitchers since they are always highly sought after. Hopefully, I can score and trade someone I drafted late for a $12 salad.

    If my late pitchers don’t pan out I will just drop them for the brain freezers I probably would have drafted anyway. This might not work in all league; however, if you find that something, like pitching, is constantly needed, and you can take advantage, do it!

    PS – Last year I drafted Lidge and Ryan as my closers. I wouldn’t do this if there was some decent options late.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:

    @James: I’m not a huge fan of punting. I always think there’s got to be a few Brain Freezes you can get, but if you know what works for you.

  15. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    Thanks for the update Grey, but one quick suggestion. Could you do like a +/- for each player as they move up and down the rankings? For example, Cordero begins to suck and you move him down the rankings to 13 or something. In parinthases, you’d put (-5) juz so we know.

  16. papasmurf says:

    I think there was a post about the bullpen depth of each team (closer and setup men/potential replacements). I can’t find it now. Can someone please point me in the right direction? Like the date or what term to search for.

  17. papasmurf says:

    Oh jeez never mind. I just see it in this very same article. Sneakily reading at work and the snow in the morning must have blinded me. Sorry. (Can’t delete comment)

  18. Grey

    Grey says:

    @IowaCubs: That’s a good suggestion. I’ll incorporate that in next month’s. Soria moved up. Then there was lots of change in the bottom of the donkey-corns.

    @papasmurf: No worries.

  19. Josh says:

    @Frankrizzo: rotoauthority has a few lists of the favorite to close for each team.

  20. Pops says:

    Do you recommend handcuffing closers to their setup man? I’m in a deep keeper league that counts holds. With Brad Lidge in tow, is it a good move to pursue Ryan Madson as an end game security pick?

  21. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Pops: If you’re in a league with Holds, I’d just grab the top MRs and let the chips fall where they may with your own closers handcuffs.

  22. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    @Grey: @Pops: Can’t you envision drafting a handcuff situation like Devine/Ziegler, Perez/Motte and Marmol/Gregg? Seems like it wouldn’t be much of a wasted pick to do this.

    Last year, for example, I drafted Corpas in the middle rounds and as insurance, picked up Fuentes in like the 23rd. It really saved my ass.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:

    @IowaCubs: Depends if the backup is worthwhile at all and the situation. Corpas lost the job in April last year. If he would’ve went into to May looking good, Fuentes would’ve been a waste. So yeah if you have room for Motte, Ziegler or Gregg, absolutely do it. But Pops asked about Madson. Madson is fine for Holds and I’d get him for that, but I wouldn’t handcuff Lidge. It’s unnecessary right now.

  24. James says:

    Franciso – Wilson could hinder him
    Lindstrom – I like him
    Lyon – Will probably fall apart like last year
    Perez – It seems there are other options that the manager likes
    Walker – Hurt already and has a history of injury problem
    Sherrill – Ray could hinder him
    Hoffman – Done
    Percival – Health?
    Street – Corpas could hinder him, but this is a good situation

    I have concerns with every brain freeze except Lindstrom and Colorado. Am I missing something? I could get Weaver and Cueto instead of these clowns. If these two pan out, I could trade my better pitchers for a $12 salad, and rotate these guys into their position. Plus, if one or both don’t work, I go to the wire, which we know always has saves due to closers predisposition to injury.

    I don’t like the idea of punting closers either; however, there are some legit pitching talents that are more reliable than the brain freezes. What do you think? I am still on the fence about this strategy.

  25. Grey

    Grey says:

    @James: Your starters may not be as valuable as you hope and then you’re left holding no closers and no starters to trade. You’re gambling on starters instead of closers, it’s really six of one, half dozen of another. Chris Perez could easily have 30 saves and great peripheral numbers. Some would say he’s less risky than Weaver or Cueto.

  26. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Grey: BTW, I was just picking Perez out of your list. I could’ve said that about four or five of the Brain Freezes.

  27. James says:

    I don’t agree with that because I wouldn’t take a weaker deal because of my situation. I will specifically suggest in a post that I am fine with loading up on the SP categories if people try send me low ball offers., and let’s remember pitchers are more sought after because they help a team more (I am already starting from a stronger position). In a H2H league the managers will know that my team will be strong enough to win if my team is SP deep. Thus, they wouldn’t have the upper hand as you suggest.

    Perez? He doesn’t even have the job yet. Motte? Plus, if Carpenter falters he could assume the role. Weaver and Cueto have their position locked.

  28. James says:

    Oh ok – we’ll see what happenes.

  29. Grey

    Grey says:

    @James: This is the first time you’re mentioning it’s a H2H league.

  30. James says:

    @Grey – my bad, last week you mentioned H2H when replying to me, and I just assumed you knew that is how I roll.

  31. Grey

    Grey says:

    @James: Nah, I answer a lot of questions. Sorry, had no idea. Punting isn’t as awful a move in H2H. You have much more flexibility.

  32. sean says:

    So many of the donkey-corns were once at the bottom of the list too. The key, I think, is to draft enough of them to catch lightning in a bottle. A few years back, I grabbed Reyes off the waiver wire in the first couple of weeks and flipped him in late April/early May for a human version of Mariano Rivera.

    As with all things draft, flexibility is important. If it’s round 7 and you’re thinking about Zimmerman, Encarnacion, Dye, or Nathan — I don’t think it’s unreasonable to go Nathan. I just think you can’t pass on an ace or a real producer for a closer. If Beckett fell to the seventh, it’d be a no brainer for me. If Nathan fell to the seventh, it’s probably only a 30-40% chance I take him…

  33. Grey

    Grey says:

    @sean: Yup, Brain Freezes move up to Donkey-Corns and Donkey-Corns move up to $12 Salads or down to Brain Freezes. Alas, it’s the nature of the closer.

  34. Steve says:

    @sean @Grey: it’s not been unusual to (mock) find Beckett in the (mock) 7th. Is he possibly a little under-appreciated this year?

  35. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Sounds like it. He’s a solid #1 and good value in the 7th.

  36. Dr. Fandangstico says:

    Closers are like FG kickers. And set-up men are like the guys who hold the ball for the kickers to kick. Except they have fangs, and unclean thoughts about the FG kickers’ girls.

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