The hot stove has been bubbling this winter, mostly thanks to Jerry Dipoto. Bullpen arms tend not to rank all that high in offseason coverage, so I cobbled together the notable moves for your reading pleasure. I know, I know, you’re thinking seriously ‘Wan, I’m not anywhere near the state of mind you need to think about the saves chase. There’s no rest for the closing wicked when it comes to the bullpen landscape, I’m afraid.

Bullpen additions:

  • Cody Allen inked a one year deal with the Angels. Presumably, he intends to show he can still close effectively and cash in next winter. It’s a decent landing spot for him.
  • Edwin Diaz moves to Citifield, and that does nothing to change his outlook as the RP1.
  • One confusing spot for me is Andrew Miller signing with the Cardinals. They were in clear need of a go-to option in the ninth, but they’ve also employed plenty of closer-by-committee this past season. Miller’s value as a fireman muddy’s the water as to how he’ll be used.
  • The Phillies become an even harder bullpen to project with the addition of David Robertson. He profiles as a closer, but he’s been willing to pitch anywhere in the back end of games. Gabe Kapler is the new Mike Scioscia.
  • Seattle has continued their makeover with a trade for Anthony Swarzak and then signing Hunter Strickland. My gut says the free agent Strickland is their guy for the ninth.
  • The White Sox have added two veteran relievers because they’re that close… Kelvin Herrera has the better stuff, but his health is a question mark sometimes. Alex Colome is stuck in column B until that time.
  • The Yankees signed both Zach Britton and Adam Ottavino. It’s only fitting that they continue to undermine our hopes of Dellin Betances being a clear go to for the period of time Aroldis Chapman has a sore shoulder.
  • Joe Kelly brings his psycho ass to the Dodgers. He needs to be on your radar as Kenley Jansen has to show the heart issue is under control and that he hasn’t lost any more velo.
  • The Nationals scooped up a couple flamethrowers with closing experience in Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough. The Bearclaw intrigues me. The Marlins frequently overtaxed him with back to back to back usage. I’m curious if he can be a lights out setup man with less strain.
  • Brad Brach goes to the Cubs in a move that rates meh on the interest meter. He can close in a pinch and they have a murky back end. His underlying numbers got shaky towards the end of last season, though.

Two non-transaction notes:

  • The Rangers haven’t added any arms to the pen, much to the relief of my fellow Jose Leclerc fanboys. That bodes well for his upside in 2019.
  • Who knows what the hell Cleveland is doing? Actual question. Does anyone know? They’re moving young guys, old guys, not signing any needs. Sure they have one of the leagues best rotations and two of the most dynamic infielders playings the game, but you don’t want it to look like you’re trying too hard to win.
  1. OaktownSteve says:
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    Welcome. Are you the new closer guy here?

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      @OaktownSteve: Smokey became a Jedi?

      • nmdunkel says:
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        @The Great Knoche:

        Yes. If you had read his goodbye post, you’d have known that.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      @OaktownSteve: I took over for Smokey late last season.

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Roto-Wan:

        Cool. I’m a closer chaser so I’ll be around

        • Roto-Wan

          Roto-Wan says:
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          @OaktownSteve: Glad to have you/sorry for your suffering.

    • knucks says:
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      @OaktownSteve: Okay this is the room I will back you into a corner in, OTS.

      I threw out a few names a week or three back, when you were mentioning a closer you are on for this year. And you confirmed it was one of them.

      Leclerc?

  2. OaktownSteve says:
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    What do you think of the Twins pen as of the moment. I’d really like to see Trevor May get a shot, but I really doubt he will.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I like Blake Parker

      • Roto-Wan

        Roto-Wan says:
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        @Grey: May’s going to require some patience. I’d buy cheap if at all.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Agreed, I’m thinking Blake Parker

  3. Johnnyhobbes says:
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    Gabe Kapler is the new Mike Scioscia…….. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! :(

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      @Johnnyhobbes: Is there a term for laughing on the outside and crying on the inside at the same time.

  4. Apeman says:
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    Is this a stupid idea. RB sends a text message when a closer loses his job or blows a big save. Us east coast folks would love it.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      @Apeman: What I do is put a Twitter alert on these two accounts: @closermonkey & @closernews.

  5. Florida Cracker says:
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    I’ll be following your words of wisdom. Keep them coming.

  6. Cablejacks says:
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    I think I’m better at fantasy football than fantasy baseball ………I’ll be looking for advice

  7. Ante Galic says:
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    Roto-Wan!

    Great BP report, keep ’em coming.

    a. 100% agree with you on the CLE BP situ. What the hell did they do? Who is closing for CLE? Do they know something that we don’t know?

    b. LeClerc!

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      @Ante Galic: Hand is fine to close, but they’re just losing so much talent everywhere.

  8. Nick says:
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    Hey RotoWan,

    any thought on AJ “fresh” Minter?

    Nick

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      @Nick: He should rise to the top in that bullpen, but it could require patience. Vizcaino is an ideal setup man for me, but that might not happen with an injury to ease the transition.

  9. Florida Cracker says:
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    Many of us chase holds as well. Hoping to read updates and rankings for those too.

    • Roto-Wan

      Roto-Wan says:
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      @Florida Cracker: The schedule is to alternate closers and general bullpen report every other week.

  10. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    Hmmmmm

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