There is a reason many fantasy owners believe in not paying for saves. Even when you think you have a sure thing, you just never know. Take Jason Motte, for instance, who was regarded as one of the elite closers in the game. Now he’s set to miss the beginning of the season and we don’t have an exact timeframe for his return.
If you are a proponent of selecting closers or not, let’s take a look at how things currently shake out:
1) Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
2) Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
3) Jonathan Papelbon – Philadelphia Phillies
4) Mariano Rivera – New York Yankees
5) Sergio Romo – San Francisco Giants
6) Joe Nathan – Texas Rangers
7) Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals
8) Addison Reed – Chicago White Sox
9) Rafael Soriano – Washington Nationals
10) Jason Motte – St. Louis Cardinals
11) Tom Wilhelmsen – Seattle Mariners
12) Jim Johnson – Baltimore Orioles
13) J.J. Putz – Arizona Diamondbacks
14) Grant Balfour – Oakland Athletics
15) Rafael Betancourt – Colorado Rockies
- I know the first complaint people will have is the omission of Fernando Rodney. No, it was not an oversight. Even with his strong numbers in the WBC we did begin to see some of his past control problems show up slightly (3 BB in 7.1 IP). We also have to remember how bad he was prior to 2012 and the lesson’s we’ve learned in the past. Remember when Brad Lidge posted a perfect season closing out games for the Phillies? Remember how bad he was the following year? I wouldn’t recommend paying for what was clearly a career year.
- The uncertainty of how long Jason Motte will be out for keeps him on this list for now. If he’s only going to miss a few weeks, he will have value upon his return. If we find out the injury is going to keep him off the mound significantly longer, he needs to drop like a rock.
- Was anyone really surprised when Aroldis Chapman was named closer (instead of starter) for the Reds? Considering how dominant he is in the role, it just makes sense.
- All signs point to Grant Balfour being able to open the season as the A’s closer. While he’s not a “top” option, he certainly is one worth owning.