Oh, how we are going to miss Mariano Rivera. I’ve never owned him, but always wished I did. Personally, I’m a Yankee hater, but I always enjoyed watching him work his ninth inning magic like a smooth pick up artist. So now we are left without one of the greatest closers to ever play the game and a permanent fixture on the $12 salad menu. But like all things fantasy, we must move on and start prepping for next season by keeping our minds sharp and our cheat sheets easily accessible. The great mix up called free agency and the winter meetings are just a stones throw away and will hopefully give us some clarity into what comes next.

There will be a $12 dollar salad– Joe Nathan (43/73/1.39/0.90), on the open market. Some great DonkeyCorns– Grant Balfour (38/72/2.59/1.20) and Joaquin Benoit (24/73/2.01/1.03). And some brainfreezes– some with upward mobility and some with not, Fernando Rodney (37/82/3.38/1.34), Jose Veras (21/60/3.06/1.11), Kevin Gregg (33/56/3.48/1.37), and Brian Wilson 0/13/0.66/0.88) come to mind. I include Veras and Wilson because you never know what these bipolar organizations are going to do; some being very frugal and some being a little glutanous with their free agent dollars.  For example, you have a guy like Joaquin Benoit who could end up going somewhere to be a high priced set up man. Bottom line, there are a lot of messy situations for us to work through and I can only hope they will be settled by the time we draft our teams. But when you read things like this, you have to wonder about what we think we know and how little we know about knowing the know and might recommend not drafting in February….or early March.

Here now is a list of all the closers going forward and where I see them at the moment. I have included the important stats for fantasy purposes (Saves/K’s/ERA/WHIP). As we move forward this off season, we should be getting into blown saves, K’s/9, K’s/BB, and other important number type stuff. One thing with closers, I don’t care about age. Unless there is major regression trend, I don’t see the validity in bringing that up. Many of these guys become great relievers later in their careers and, like cockroaches, are hard to knock out.

$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 gone 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. Craig Kimbrel – 50/98/1.21/0.88

2. Kenley Jansen – 28/111/1.88/0.86

3. Greg Holland – 47/103/1.21/0.87

4. Koji Uehara –  21/101/1.09/0.57

5. Aroldis Chapman – 38/112/2.54/1.04

6. Trevor Rosenthal – 3/108/2.63/1.10


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.

7. Glen Perkins – 36/77/2.30/0.93

8. Addison Reed –  40/72/3.79/1.11

9. Sergio Romo –  38/58/2.54/1.08

10. Jim Johnson – 50/56/2.94/1.28

11. Rafael Soriano –  43/51/3.11/1.23

12. Steve Cishek – 34/74/2.33/1.08

13. Mark Melancon – 16/70/1.39/0.96

14. Casey Janssen –  34/50/2.56/0.99

15. Jim Henderson – 28/75/2.70/1.13

16. Jonathan Papelbon – 29/57/2.92/1.14

17. Huston Street –  33/46/2.70/1.02

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.

18. Rex Brothers – 19/76/1.74/1.29

19. Danny Farquhar – 16/79/4.20/1.19

20. Brad Ziegler – 13/44/2.22/1.14

21. Ernesto Frieri – 37/98/3.80/1.24

Texas Rangers (Neftali Feliz, Joakim SoriaTanner Scheppers)

Oakland A’s (Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, Dan Otero)

New York Yankees (David Robertson)

Tampa Bay Rays (Jake McGee, Joel Peralta, Alex Torres)

Detroit Tigers (Al Alburquerque, Bruce Rondon, Drew Smyly)

Cleveland Indians  (Cody Allen, Vinnie Pastano)

New York Mets (Bobby Parnell, Vic Black)

Houston Astros (Josh Fields, Chia-Jen-Lo)

Chicago Cubs (James Russell, Pedro Strop)