Hey, boys and girls! It’s that time again to look at all of the major league closers for all the major league teams and all their setup men and all the heartache they bring. Yay! So I had this girl that I invested far too much time in. Like a third round pick investment. We date for two years and I’m blissful. I even Tivo her soap operas! In the end, she left me with a giant hole in my heart and flowery, bathroom wallpaper. I tell you this story because closers are just like dames. You really shouldn’t invest too much love in your closers. You lose a closer, just pickup his replacement or grab someone else’s replacement. It’ll work itself out. Anyway, here’s all the major league closers and all of their setup men:


This tier is filled with a bunch of no-brainers. Because they’re dumb as dog balls? No, because you are if you fall in love with them and let them break your heart. Trade these closers for needed parts.

1. Francisco Rodriguez, LAA (Justin Speier, Scot Shields, Jose Arredondo)
2. Jonathan Papelbon, BOS (Hideki Okajima)
3. Joe Nathan, MIN (Matt Guerrier, Dennys Reyes, Jesse Crain)
4. Mariano Rivera, NYY (Kyle Farnsworth)
5. Brad Lidge, PHI (Tom Gordon, Ryan Madson)
6. Takashi Saito, LAD (Jonathan Broxton)


These closers have the potential to save just as many games as the no-brainers. “Then, Grey, why make a different group?” I’m getting to that!  For whatever reason, people don’t like these closers as much as the above closers, so they can be had on the cheap and you can still get saves from them. Saves are what you want. Dur.

7. Joakim Soria, KAN (Ramon Ramirez)
8. Bobby Jenks, CHW (Scott Linebrink, Octavio Dotel)
9. Jon Rauch, WAS (Luis Ayala)
10. Kerry Wood, CHI (Carlos Marmol)
11. Francisco Cordero, CIN (David Weathers)
12. Brandon Lyon, ARI (Tony Pena, Chad Qualls)
13. Trevor Hoffman, SDG (Heath Bell)
14. Billy Wagner, NYM (Duaner Sanchez, Aaron Heilman)
15. Jose Valverde, HOU (Doug Brocail)
16. George Sherrill, BAL (Bunch of Schmohawks)
17. Matt Capps, PIT (Damaso Marte)
18. Brian Wilson, SAN (Tyler Walker)
19. Kevin Gregg, FLA (Renyel Pinto, Matt Lindstrom)
20. Brian Fuentes, COL (Taylor Buchholz, Manny Corpas)


Saves are awesome! I love saves! I just got four saves from Torres! Wait, why is Gagne coming back? Ow! Brain freeze! Use the following closers at your own risk.

21. B.J. Ryan, TOR (Scott Downs)
22. Todd Jones, DET (Aquilino Lopez, Fernando Rodney, Joel Zumaya)
23. Joe Borowski, CLE (Masa Kobayashi)
24. Salomon Torres, MIL (Eric Gagne, G. Mota)
25. Troy Percival, TAM (Dan Wheeler, Al Reyes)
26. Ryan Franklin, STL (Jason Isringhausen, Chris Perez)
27. C.J. Wilson, TEX (Eddie Guardado, Joaquin Benoit)
28. Huston Street, OAK (Keith Foulke, Alan Embree, Santiago Casilla, Joey Devine)
29. Brandon Morrow, SEA (Sean Green)
30. Manny Acosta, Mike Gonzalez, Rafael Soriano, Blaine Boyer, Skip Caray, ATL

  1. Chet says:

    I picked Skip Caray up today. Had to drop Hamilton for him, but I think it’s worth it.

  2. DrBaseball says:

    On one of my teams I have 5 closers. They all happen to be in the “brain freeze” catagorey. They are BJ Ryan, Todd Jones, Salomon Torres, Huston Street and Brandon Morrow.

    For some reason I feel perfectly comfortable with all of them.

    On a different note, I’ve got a question. Besides Salomon Torres, why does Kerry Wood lead all closers in innings pitched? The guy has clearly had a history of injuries and they keep running him out there. Wood has been great this season but I think they should really take it easy or he’s just going to hurt himself.

  3. Mike says:

    I got offered Figgins for Oswalt…..I think its a good deal, what ya think?

  4. Mike says:

    Also I saw Scherzer got sent down, you think he will be back up any time soon?

  5. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Chet: Ah, yes. A splendid move.

    @DrBaseball: I say by July 1st you have one closer. Yes, Wood is a sneeze away from the DL list. Maybe they keep running him out there because they have Marmol ready to move in.

    @Mike: I think it’s a good move.

  6. Mike says:

    Im hearing good things about the Braves SP call-up Charlie Morton, got ant info on him?

  7. wakeNbake says:

    Kobayashi got a save last night, what happened to Jo-Blow??

  8. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @wakeNbake: From the box score it looks like Kobo came in with a two run lead in the 8th, then Indians scored twice to make it 9-5, thus not a save opp, to they left Kobo in to finish off. That’s what I’d guess was the situation.

  9. G-Ram says:

    I know Ryan had a couple shaky outings here lately, but do you really think he’s in danger of losing his job? He was something like 12 for 12 before that, and this is a guy that was certainly on your “no-brainer” list before his injury. He doesn’t seem to have health problems now, so, barring 2 or 3 more bad outings, I would think he belongs on that middle list, especially since the Jays are a pretty good team that should give him ample opportunities down the stretch.

  10. RT says:

    Trade thoughts:

    Me: Atkins, Jeter, Pierre, Marcum

    Him: Phillips, Hawpe, Pedro, Rasner

  11. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Mike: I mentioned him in my Buy/Sell. I think he’s worth a pickup to see if, nothing else, he can have some immediate success.

    @G-Ram: I wont trust him this entire season because of his recent surgery. I say, caveat emptor.

    @RT: Is “Me” the guys you’re getting? If so, great trade. Git R Done.

  12. wakeNbake says:

    Damn Yahoo, how can Charlie Morton not be added? The guy is pitching today!! Get on your shit Yahoo.

  13. cockyphoenix says:

    You have demoted all my closers except Slinklo. I like Capps more than you do, though. Waiver claim for CJ Wilson was successful, and now I’m free of that mess in Atlanta (dropped Gonzalez).
    @wakeNbake: and you’re surprised? you weren’t kidding about that commenter alias

  14. Grey

    Grey says:

    @wakeNbake: I really don’t think I’m going to use Yahoo next year. They’re not a sports company. It’s that simply. Not sure why I used them this year. I think some other ‘perts convinced me they were best.

    @cockyphoenix: “you weren’t kidding about that commenter alias” — hehe

  15. Kevin says:

    I have two brain freeze guys. I have room on my bench for one speculative pick who is not currently closing. Joel Zumaya, Mike Gonzalez, or someone else?

  16. wakeNbake says:


  17. p0rk burn says:

    @Kevin: If you are looking for the one with the better chance of closing go Gonzalez. Soriano’s elbow is held together by spit and toothpicks.

    I think TJ is relatively safe in Detroit.

  18. wakeNbake says:

    @p0rk burn: agreed, go Gonzo

  19. Kevin says:

    Ya…you guys are probably right. Besides, teams seem to value their dominant relief guys in the set up role anyway. This is probably because they are often facing tighter spots than the so called closers are.

    If teams were smart they would simply use their best relief pitcher in the most important situations. If this meant pitching the 7th, 8th, and 9th in a scoreless game and not having him available to “close” out a 4-1 game the next day then so be it. The Yankees were close to using Joba like this and were a better team doing it. But the fact is the save statistic will prevent this from happening. Too much money lost in potential contracts and too much status lost to the king of the bullpen.

    People in the game are so set in their ways. I have seen Corey Hart lay down a bunt from the 5th spot in the lineup twice this year only to kill the rally both times. Why did he bunt? Because he is a great bunter and some stupid convention said it would be a good idea to move the runners over. OK, I got carried away here.

  20. p0rk burn says:

    @Kevin: I disagree with you on the closer thing. The mentality to close (i know its a cliche) seems to be a legitimate phenomenon. If put those guys in at an earlier junction of the game they usually look lost. See Kazaam in the glossary. Plus they are conditioned to pitch an inning, maybe 1.2 at most. Of course that could change if teams implemented a regime like you’re saying, but it would be a rough transition. Some guys are meant to close out the game, some are meant to come in with a roll of toilet paper when shit is hitting the fan. How many of these 8th inning aces have we seen fail as closers?

  21. Kevin says:

    @pork burn: Often times when these closers are brought in earlier in the game they seem lost because it is a non save situation…or more importantly a non important situation. They lose their focus and concentration which is understandable. This would not be the case if they are always being used in critical game situations.

    As for the “closer mentality” I am not saying I completely disagree with you. Maybe when there is a two or three run lead another member of the pen can start the inning. Or, here’s a novel concept, let the starter finish the game!! Wouldn’t that be wonderful. But this is leading me to a rant on pitch counts so I will stop here.

  22. RT says:


    Yep. Me, is the guys I am getting. I thought it was pretty sweet, so I appreciate the reinforcement.

  23. RT says:

    Weird. People never make offers to me and in both leagues I have offers today — big ones…

    Volquez for Bruce. Straight Up.

    My pitching is: Marcum, Burnett, Sanchez, Rasner, Carmona.

    I already traded Granderson, so outfield is a little thin until Alou or Headley make an appearanace.

  24. Chris says:

    For the Orioles, I would hope that what you mean by “A bunch of schmohawks” is “how could I possibly pick just 2 or 3?” With the exception of Jamie Walker and Steve Trachsel’s short stint, the O’s bullpen has been outstanding. Look at even Lance Cormier’s numbers for pete’s sake! And, man, Jim Johnson! You want schmohawks? How about that Luis Ayala or Manny Corpas?

  25. cockyphoenix says:

    It looks like the new UCL Shin-Soo Choo got fits him pretty well, though he is striking out a bit

    @RT: if by a little thin you mean you can manage losing Bruce, I’d probably do it. The back of your rotation makes me nervous.

  26. G-Ram says:

    @ Grey

    I think your injury concerns regarding Ryan are fair, but if injury concerns are the main reason he’s is in the bottom group, it’s hard to justify putting Wood so high up in the second group. I think Ryan has to be above Fuentes right now. I’m more confident that Ryan will stay healthy than that Fuentes will say with the Rockies past the trade deadline.

  27. Grey

    Grey says:

    @RT: Volquez is due for a correction, but I don’t think you can afford to lose him.

    @G-Ram: I don’t think Wood’s a safe bet to stay healthy, but can’t necessarily drop him down too far just because we think he might get hurt. Ryan’s also blown a few saves recently.

  28. RT says:


    Sorry Grey. I would be getting Volquez giving up Bruce. My rotation has been terrible since the beg. of the year. (see Smoltz and Carmona)

  29. wakeNbake says:

    Vernon Wells left game shaking his wrist……that cant b good

  30. Grey

    Grey says:

    @RT: My bad, I misunderstood. I would take Volquez for Bruce.

    @wakeNbake: It was only the matter of time with him coming back so fast.

  31. wakeNbake says:

    @Grey: yeah I feel bad for him and his owners, he was doing good.

  32. RT says:

    Headley got the call… See Rotoworld.

  33. BSA says:

    Reading your updates I am pretty psyched to have 2 no-brainers, a brainer, and a brain freeze. With my starting pitching I have been pretty consistent for pitching points. I also like that if my league would trade I have pieces.

  34. Grey

    Grey says:

    @RT: About friggin time.

  35. nick says:

    My C. Young & Torres for His Pence & Gregg…

    Good for me ?

  36. Steve says:

    Jay Bruce for Robinson Cano – what say you?

  37. BSA says:

    I don’t know much but I would do that.

  38. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @nick: C Young pitcher or C Young hitter?

    If it’s the latter, I wouldn’t do that trade. Gregg is a slight upgrade over Torres, but only slight — he may well lose his job before year’s end. Krispie Young is more valuable than Pence.

    @Steve: Depending on position scarcity etc., I’d take the Cano side. Though given Bruce’s hot start you can probably milk more out of the Cano owner.

    Remember, we’re heading into the second half, so you want to be identifying underperformers and acquiring them. Like Cano.

  39. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @Grey: Me? Personally? I would never trade Bruce. I wouldn’t trade Bruce for Hanley, Hamilton, Headley and Harang. I woudn’t trade Bruce for all the Cabreras (Miggy, O-Cab, Daniel, Melky, Asdrubal, Tito, Zeppo, and Stephen, the fat one from Homicide).

    But if this dude wants to trade Bruce, Cano plus something seems fair. Then he’s one more guy I can laugh at as Bruce and I fly over the landscape, looking down at the weeping former Bruce-owners, like Superman and Lois Lane in that first Superman movie that kind of sucked except for Gene Hackman.

  40. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    p.s. I’ve got Bruce, Longoria, and Headley in my starting lineup today. Oh, this team is going to rock in 2010.

  41. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    p.p.s. Glossary suggestion: Rookie nookie. i.e. the overwhelming infatuation with highly-touted rookies. “I know Headley probably won’t hit against Sabathia today, but I’m in the mood for some rookie nookie.”

    And a question: Me give: Pence/Longoria. Me get: Atkins. Worth pursuing? I have one too many OFs right now.

  42. wakeNbake says:

    Start Oswalt against the NYY??

  43. Steve says:

    @Baron Von Vulturewins & Grey: What about Bruce + K Johnson for Kinsler. I’m after a 2B upgrade, obviously.

    The guys with Cano doesn’t really have anything I need – or that he would give up.

  44. Steve says:

    Sorry – the GUY with Cano doesn’t really have anything ELSE I need – or that he would give up.

  45. Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @Steve: I can’t see him doing this. If he will do it, then yes, do it.

    I’ve never understood the Kelly Johnson Love, and I never will.

  46. Steve says:

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I don’t mind the Johnson production from the 16th or 17th round or wherever I got him.

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