With every first list or preseason edition of anything, there comes question marks.  Lots of ifs and buts, with no real sound determination until we actual see the product.  I am pretty sure Jane Austen’s first attempt at Pride and Prejudice was an abomination because who knew if Elizabeth Bennett was up to the task of being wifey material?  It turns out that I can win a bet and correlate anything into the bullpen situations of the current MLB teams. Until injuries, demotion or a better option arises, we have to go by two main instincts: former ability and common sense. So the list is based off of the news to date that we have gotten on all the potential closers to date and for gigg’s I have ranked them accordingly. I have been doing bullpens for a long time and have been wrong on a few occasions, but I am not the manager or GM for the team pulling the strings, I am merely a fantasy writer.  So here is the Spring training edition of the Closer rankings, their set-up men, and the cuffs we covet for fantasy in 2016.

  • The top-4 for me are the guys.  You can rank them 1-4 or 4-1 and it wouldn’t matter in the least.  If you draft one, you are sitting pretty as they are guaranteed returns on investment.  Each guy offers elite K-potential, low ERA and WHIP, and are pitching behind decent enough starting pitching that saves should be of abundance.
  • Familia is the first closer I have popping off draft boards this year.  He checks all the boxes, and if you go on Grindr right now, I think he is the closest guy to you in proximity.  Crazy, but true.
  • The Marlins situation is one to monitor already.  Carter Capps missed three months of the season and is coming back with a lot of steam behind him.  So much so that there is an impression from Mattingly and the powers that monitor the Fish that it’s an open competition.  I don’t buy it too much, though Capps should be owned everywhere for his K-potential and cuff-ness.
  • As always, there are tailings for even closers. These are all fluid situations and should be monitored deftly. Vizcaino has Grilli, who for the most part was the first waiver wire darling last year until his injury.
  •  Doolittle has had the good word spoken about him every year for the last three, now they have the Hatchet man behind him who is a proven closing commodity. This is my guess for the first situation that changes most likely do to injury.
  • The Brew-ha-ha’s are in full rebuild.  Bernie Brewer was just traded and is being replaced by a new and younger Sour beer sponsor.  The question is when do the Brewers go full punt in the pen? Smith is there best pitcher period on the roster for fantasy.  Unfortunately that is a bad thing, Knebel and Yhonathan Barrios are the guys to watch there and for deeper leagues.
  • Reds are like the Brewers, punting along.  They could go young and replace the Hoov with Zach Weiss.  I don’t love the idea of Jumbo closing anything except the barbecue grill he is cooking on.
  • The Phillies have a veteran in place and no one really else there to augment or supplant David Hernandez.  If you get stuck late and have to decide between Hernandez or Fernando Rodney.   Take the guy who is on the worse team.  That may be a trick question or a riddle wrapped in a gluten free muffin.

 

$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 – (Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia, Chris Hatcher)

2. Aroldis Chapman – (Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances)

3. Wade Davis – (Joakim Soria, Kelvin Herrera)

4. Craig Kimbrel – (Koji Uehara, Carson Smith)

5. Jeurys Familia – (Addison Reed, Antonio Bastardo)

6. Ken Giles – (Luke Gregerson, Pat Neshek, Josh Fields)

7. Zach Britton – (Darren O’Day, Mychal Givens)

8. Trevor Rosenthal – (Kevin Siegrist,Jordan Walden, Jonathan Broxton)

 

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.

9. David Robertson – (Zach Putnam, Jake Petricka, Nate Jones)

10. Mark Melancon – (Tony Watson, Arquimedes Caminero)

11. Hector Rondon – (Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm)

12. Shawn Tolleson – (Keone Kela, Sam Dyson)

13. Cody Allen – (Bryan Shaw, Zach McAllister)

14. A.J. Ramos – (Carter Capps, Kyle Barraclough)

15.  Francisco Rodriguez – (Mark Lowe, Justin Wilson)

16. Brad Boxberger – (Danny Farquhar, Alex Colome)

17. Huston Street – (Joe Smith, Mike Morin)

18. Glen Perkins – (Kevin Jepsen, Trevor May)

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.

19. Jonathan Papelbon – (Shawn Kelley, Blake Treinen, Trevor Gott)

20. Drew Storen – (Roberto Osuna, Brett Cecil)

21. Steve Cishek – (Joaquin Benoit, Evan Scribner)

22. Santiago Casilla – (Sergio Romo, Hunter Strickland, Ray Black)

23. Brad Ziegler – (Daniel Hudson, Silvino Bracho)

24. Jake McGee – (Jason Motte, Chad Qualls)

25. Fernando Rodney – (Drew Pomeranz, Kevin Quackenbush, Jon Edwards)

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.

26. Arodys Vizcaino – (Jason Grilli, Jim Johnson)

27. David Hernandez – (Luis Garcia, Edward Mujica)

28. Sean Doolittle – (John Axford, Ryan Madson)

29. Will Smith – (Corey Knebel, Jeremy Jeffress)

30. J.J. Hoover – (Jumbo Diaz, Zach Weiss)

 

 

2020 Draft Kit
 
  1. Rob Don't Want to use my last name because others in the league read you says:
    (link)

    Good to know. I am in a 6×6 league (TB, Holds) with 5 keepers we have to pick before the end of spring training. And I am pulling my hair about which to keep. When the draft comes around I pick 5th.
    Any thoughts on who I should keep? Only get to chose 5 from this list.

    ********************************
    Paul Goldschmidt Ari – 1B
    Nolan Arenado Col – 3B
    Kyle Schwarber ChC – C,OF
    Eric Hosmer KC – 1B
    Francisco Lindor Cle – SS
    Byron Buxton Min – OF

    Jake Arrieta ChC – SP
    Aroldis Chapman NYY – RP
    Adam Wainwright StL – SP
    Yu Darvish Tex – SP
    *******************************

    This rocks by the way!

    • Caitlyn Jenners Penis says:
      (link)

      @Rob Don’t Want to use my last name because others in the league read you: Give me Goldy, Nolan, Chapman and Arrieta. From there it comes down to Schwarber or Hosmer. I’d roll the dice on the upside from the C position. Your draft basically starts in the 6th round and Kyle is likely a first round pick. I could see Hosmer falling back to you in the 2nd round.

      The rest of the guys are either re-draftable or just replaceable with equivalent or better. Buxton hasn’t shown enough to warrant top 5 keeper status

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Rob Don’t Want to use my last name because others in the league read you: I think the big question is keeping Buxton. You rostered him all last year in the hopes of keeping him for this year. So for me that commitment has to warrant a spot. Goldy, Nolan, Buxton Arrieta and its a coin flip for Hosmer and Schwarber. If Schwarber had other eilig? he would be 5 over the already covered 1b spot you have with Goldy.

  2. danny almonte says:
    (link)

    Thanks! Youll do a middle rp/holds post too, right?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @danny almonte: absolutely. Should be out next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.

  3. Rob Don't Want to use my last name because others in the league read you says:
    (link)

    Thanks for all the input everyone and keep it coming. I must crush my brother this year ;-}

    Buxton and Lindor are both tough choices. Not sure if they are keeper bait, but of course don’t want anyone else to get them.

    Kyle will have catcher eligibility and we have a 2 catcher league. And I think he will play outfield all this coming year. Kid is a masher so he is on the short list.

    And Chapman in NY? He could rake up some saves for me being a $12 salad.

    I guess I really have to let some spring training help me decide.

  4. Mike says:
    (link)

    I can keep wade davis in the 16th round. This is better value than a Patrick Corbin in the 20th or a Starlin Marte in the 4th, right?

    • Moneyball says:
      (link)

      @Mike: Do peeps read the articles? The point is you don’t want to spend $12 on a salad. So the original OP with his 5th round Aroldis and Wade Davis in the 16th shouldn’t be considered (not when you have Marte for a 4th. Grey has Marte at # 12 overall. And he is a hitter.)

      OP should keep Goldy, Arenado, Arrieta, Scwarber due to 2 catcher league and then Lindor vs Hosmer TBD. No idea why he’d keep Buxton – who can be had rounds later – based on the rationale he was occupying a roster spot last year.

      • JOLO says:
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        Agree ++++

    • royce! says:
      (link)

      @Mike: SAGNOF doesn’t mean that you turn away value deals, and Davis in the 16th is a steal. Marte in the 4th is pretty great, too, though. So I would decide based on needs.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Mike: Davis is phenomenal value in the 16th, he is going in the top 80 picks. Keep based on need if you have an OF keeper option equal to what Marte is then shade your thinking that way.

  5. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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    hells yeah; decided to keep Familia as one of my 8 keepers, in the 25th round. love it Smokey

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @SheriffMcRawDawg: Nice. Love me some Rock La Familia this year that splitter he learned in second half is the reason for the season.

  6. Am I the only one who can see Doolittle and Smith finishing as top ten closers?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Bterey: Top ten if everything breaks right and 6 of the top ten get hurt. No I don’t.

  7. Slick says:
    (link)

    NOOOOOO! You just popped my balloon…. deflated my tires….pooped on my yard….

    I was high on Will Smith. Now you tell me he’s a Brain Freeze. I thought more highly of him.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Slick: He is the Brewers best option, just not pitching behind anything good. No leads, no bridge options to him. The brewers will finish in the bottom 5 in league in save chances and have 3 guys divvy them up amongst them. It’s a bad scene man

      • High Five City says:
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        @Smokey: It’s a crying shame too, I’d have put him around 15 if the Brewers didn’t want him to fail so badly.

  8. WalleyWorld says:
    (link)

    Where do you see brandon maurer fitting into the SD bull pen? Is he a good arm to hang onto in a dynasty? I was hoping he had a shot at closing this year.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @WalleyWorld: damn shame i dropped him 1.5 years ago when he was an awful, low K SP. would’ve had him till end of 2017 on min rookie deal still. at the time he was the cut though. right now he’s their 4th starter.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @WalleyWorld: Well from what I read from AJ Preller he is coming to camp as a starter. I don’t think it lasts and he becomes involved with Quack and Edwards at the back end by June

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Smokey: either way i’m pissed now. hopefully i can be like this but not pissed about jose urena (MIA) as i haven’t dropped him yet, but he’s in exact situation as maurer was 2 years ago for my roster (over innings to minor but junk at that time)

  9. Brian says:
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    No one knows who is going to close in Milwaukee! Jeremy Jeffress has as good a chance as Smith or Knebel.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Brian: Absolutely correct. Smith to me is the best option as a pitcher on the roster right now. He is a better set-up option then closer. I think Knebel or Barrios get more saves this year

  10. Will says:
    (link)

    I think with inflation, etc. the $12 salad needs to move to about $15. We are after all in the era of $18 cheeseburgers (NYC, CA and maybe a few places in between). My 2c. Thanks.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Will: true story, maybe work out a salad algorithm.

  11. The HAND OF SAGNOF says:
    (link)

    Keeper question… deep league CL go for $16-22 I keep Wade Davis @$8 or Lindor @$4 I think with rizzo Springer and polanco @about $30 combined I don’t mind bucking up for a SS… what say you? Reassurance needed on my last keeper.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @The HAND OF SAGNOF: Lindor is a better real life player then fantasy producer. I think when people pronounce his name the automatically pronounce it Car-Los Kore-a. Davis is the goods lowest ERA over last 2 years ever by a reliever. EVER

      • goodfold2 says:
        (link)

        @Smokey: agree absolutely on lindor. some odd stuff on wade though, last year’s 92% strand rate, K% tanked off 3%, FB’s up big time (11% from 14′, highest since 2011)

  12. Nick says:
    (link)

    Hi Smokeyyyyyyyy

    Keeper team , #RP1 KJ,
    but then ?
    Allen Ramos or Tolleson? to keep as RP2

    Nick

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Nick: Allen for me.

  13. Curt C says:
    (link)

    12 team league, when should i pick a reliever?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Curt C: be the 4th guy to take one. Let them over-draft Kenley Kimbrel Davis and Aroldis. Then grab Familia which will be 10-15 picks after the last one

  14. Speedy McGreedy says:
    (link)

    Definitely excited about Capps. Great article, thanks.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Speedy McGreedy: yea, Mia has a sleeper type group for bullpen with Barraclough, Capps, Dunn and Ramos

  15. Jim says:
    (link)

    Thank you for a great article So different than last few years.
    Am I the only one concerned that Chapman could be suspended for significant time?
    Is he really a safe pick?
    Thank you for your help.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Jim: if he is, although the charges were dropped, it will be minimal. Not enough to change his ranking significantly

  16. Alcibiades Escobar says:
    (link)

    Smokey!

    I’m in a league with holds and saves, and am thinking about drafting Chapman, Andrew Miller, and Betances. The three combined could give ~180 innings of such elite K/9, ERA, and WHIP. Saves and holds would be more of an afterthought. I’d just combine these three from my RP slots into a Voltron of elite fantasy pitcher goodness.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Alcibiades Escobar: I said to someone the other day its completely doable. Because they are being drafted in such a different variety of rounds. May have to go back to back with Dellin and Miller to ensure it. Like 13-14th round-ish

      • Alcibiades Escobar says:
        (link)

        That’s what I’m thinking on Miller and Betances, though I’d have to draft Chapman really high, which is something I’ve never done.

  17. Speill says:
    (link)

    This is a question pertaining changing a stat category in a Espn 6×6 roto keeper league. We use the standard Strikeouts,era,whip,wins and saves with Quality starts added as the 6 th category. A few owners have expressed their dislike for the later and want a different category instead. I want to put a few up for a vote. What experiences has anyone had with the other pitcher stats avail? Holds,Hr/9inn ect. I’m considering going back to standard 5 stat categories to please everyone. Thanks for any input.

    • Alcibiades Escobar says:
      (link)

      I’m in a league with saves and holds and I like it. A lot more players become rosterable. We have three RP slots and a P slot in addition to our four SP slots. It leaves a lot of room for strategy. You can punt one or the other and roster four closers or four set-up men or have some of both. Plus, it makes for some interesting in-season dilemmas when one of your holds guys suddenly becomes a closer (or vice versa).

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Speill: Holds would be a better stat then using wins and QS but thats my opinion

  18. Ante GALIC says:
    (link)

    Smokey!

    How are you?

    Question. In a shallow, H2H mixed points league I have Vincent Velasquez in my second RP slot.

    a. Who will be the closer in TOR? Osuna is available. Would you drop Velasquez to add Osuna? My thinking is if Storen becomes the closer and Osuna joins the rotation, Osuna has even more value. If he wins the closer job then he’ll be an elite one if he repeats his stuff from last year.

    b. This is the list of free agents in the RP. Do you see anything else that would be a better add than Velasquez or Osuna?

    Andrew Miller RP
    Luke Gregerson RP
    Greg Holland RP
    Dellin Betances RP
    Roberto Osuna RP
    Joakim Soria RP
    Arodys Vizcaino RP
    Tom Wilhelmsen RP
    John Axford RP
    Tyler Clippard RP
    Kevin Jepsen RP
    Koji Uehara RP
    Sean Doolittle RP
    Carson Smith RP
    Fernando Rodney RP
    Aaron Sanchez RP
    Darren O’Day RP
    Chris Young SP
    Tanner Roark RP
    Jake McGee RP
    Drew Pomeranz RP
    Joaquin Benoit RP
    Kevin Siegrist RP
    Dylan Bundy RP
    Brett Cecil RP
    Tony Watson RP
    Jason Grilli RP
    Neftali Feliz RP
    Bruce Rondon RP
    Brandon Finnegan RP
    Steve Cishek RP
    Jim Johnson RP
    Adam Warren RP
    Pat Neshek RP
    Ryan Vogelsong SP
    Sergio Romo RP
    Addison Reed RP
    Kyle Lohse SP
    Jason Motte RP
    Joe Smith RP
    Kyle Zimmer RP
    Jean Machi RP
    Robbie Ross RP
    Alex Wilson RP
    Will Harris RP
    Trevor May RP
    Junichi Tazawa RP
    Kelvin Herrera RP
    Vidal Nuno RP
    Carl Edwards RP

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Ante GALIC: Nice giant list!

      A) Storen gets first gig, Osuna is going to be stretched out.

      B) If you are looking for saves or save potential. Vizcaino Cishek or McGee would do you comparably. If just looking for quality of stats its Miller easily, and I would favor adding Miller over the meh save potential of those guys.

  19. OtisNixonLovesRainesCrackRocks says:
    (link)

    @smokey
    Hola closer RanMan
    Quick keeper question involving closers.
    In a h2h league that adds losses and OPS as categories….

    Do you keep Wade Davis and Aroldis over hitter like Calhoun, Choo, Papi (fave hitter and last year), or even a guy like Kyle Seager?

    I am so torn with it being a H2H league. Rotis I think it’s a no brainer to keep them over all but papi but….h2h I am unsure.

    Thanks if ya get to this dude!

    Beisbol!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @OtisNixonLovesRainesCrackRocks: I would keep Seager or Papi over the second closer, although it is tempting to have two stout options in hand.

      • OtisNixonLovesRainesCrackRocks says:
        (link)

        @Smokey: @smokey so I guess coin flip between those two closers?

        I want to lean Aroldis for k’s but will wade keep those ratios again? I have had wade for 3 years now…Aroldis too.

        I guess I will go with Seager as he seems to be a top 7+ 3B everywhere I look and consistency is ridonkulous.

  20. Eric Felsten says:
    (link)

    This is my go to guy for RP..love the in depth look Smokey takes. Can’t wait to see the middle RP section.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Eric Felsten: word…thanks E check is on the way

  21. Moscowitz says:
    (link)

    Cecil, Kela, Knebel, Baez, Yimi or Romo for ratios? I am not interested in SVs nor in Holds, i just want the best option for the ratios.

    Thanks

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Moscowitz: Cecil, Kela then Romo

  22. Hey smoke man,

    In my 15 teamed, Keepers are looking like :

    Rizzo, Dozier, B Crawford, Blackmon, Braun, Miggy

    Harvey, Greinke, Liriano, Jansen, Melancon

    I have 2 offers for Jansen to get a 3b:

    I give Jansen get Beltre
    I give Jansen and S Miller get K Seagar and Tehran

    Either of interest? Don’t want to give up Jansen but likely top 14 3b will be kept by others

    • High Five City says:
      (link)

      @Nightpandas: The second trade is better. Miller’s peripherals say he’s Wade Miley, and Teheran has a little upside left. I’d take the trade.

    • High Five City says:
      (link)

      @Nightpandas: The second trade is better. Miller’s peripherals say he’s Wade Miley, and Teheran has a little upside left. I’d take it.

      • High Five City says:
        (link)

        @High Five City: Damn it, I didn’t think it posted.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Nightpandas: I like the second one. Seager is a nice get

  23. Brian says:
    (link)

    In an NL Only league, should I keep Brad Zeigler for twelve? He’d probably go for between 12 – 15 bucks at auction. Also, is Daniel Hudson a threat at all?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Brian: Its a fair price, if you dont wanna get shut out by higher priced closers then you have my blessing. Hudson amonsgt others could be mixed in, but he is the immediate cuff

  24. Beware the Shit Rope says:
    (link)

    strop or siegrist for holds this year (and in general). strop looks entrenched as prime set up guy at CUBS, but siegrist could lose that if walden is back, and that new “final boss” dude could move him back as well.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Beware the Shit Rope: Siegrist is the goods, but with St lou dearth of options the Holds numbers could be skewed. I would want Strop in that scenario

  25. Clint says:
    (link)

    At what point in terms of keepers numbers would you, if at all, consider keeping a closer and would you only limit it to, say, the $12 Salads if so? I’m keeping 8 in my 12 team roto league and here’s what I have to sort through in those respects:

    My 5 locks: Rizzo, Machado, Harper, Arrieta, Strasburg
    The maybes I need 3 from: Scherzer, Kluber, Puig, Buxton, Cargo, Jones, Papelbon, Giles

    I should note the discussion has been brought up to go to 10 keepers, although it doesn’t seem to be gaining steam, so I could need 5 of the latter group instead of 3 if that happens.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Clint: Id rather keep scherzer and kluber over Strasburg. Your first four are good. I would add scherzer and Kluber with Giles and Puig

  26. EA says:
    (link)

    If Vizcaino didn’t close for the Bravos, I feel like he would be ranked higher. Hard to rank any closer high when they will only get 25 save opps.

    :(

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @EA: I may be alone but I think Grilli gets just about as many saves on the year as Viz

  27. Thatguy says:
    (link)

    great stuff

    Do I keep Jake Arreita in the first rd or Kenley Jansen in the 11th?

    Points league. 10 for win. 7 for save 1 for each K

    Thx

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
      (link)

      @Thatguy: Jansen. The value of your first round pick plus Jansen far out ways Arrieta and the 11th

Comments are closed.