Closer In Waiting Power Rankings: July 27, 2017: The Trade Deadline Causes Major Shakeup

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Are you someone constantly on the lookout for the next potential closer? That’s what we are trying to pinpoint here, with our Top 5 Closer In Waiting Power Rankings. These rankings look at the pitchers who appear capable of taking over their team’s respective closing duties (though in some cases, will need some help to get there). Keep in mind, if a pitcher is currently part of a committee they will not be included in these rankings despite not currently “holding” the job outright.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at how things stand (the number in parenthesis is their ranking from our last update, which came on June 26):

Current Closer
1.Blake Treinen (NR)Oakland A'sSantiago CasillaWhile Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson have been sent packing to Washington, the lone MLB piece Oakland acquired in the deal is quickly gaining momentum into the ninth inning. Nothing has changed for Casilla, who remains one of the shakier closer's in the league (as evidenced by yesterday's blown save), and while Treinen failed in the role in Washington he's the best bet to step in once a change is needed for Oakland.
2.Kirby Yates (NR)San Diego PadresBrad HandBrandon Maurer was traded and, if rumors are true, Hand isn't going to be far behind. That would leave a bit of a question mark at the back of the bullpen, with Yates and Phil Maton as the immediate solutions (though you cannot discount Carter Capps and his potential to swipe the role). Yates, with more experience, should get the first opportunity if/when it arises (and could also share the role with Hand if a trade is not completed).
3.Junichi Tazawa (NR)Miami MarlinsA.J. RamosDavid Phelps has already been jettisoned and there's a good chance that A.J. Ramos isn't far behind. That would've left Barraclough as the likely next up, though he's hit the DL and there currently is no timeline for his return. That could leave Tazawa, who has been pitching well of late, to step in and grab the role.
4.Luis Garcia (NR)Philadelphia PhilliesHector NerisNeris continues to struggle and saw Garcia grab a save earlier this week. Maybe if they opt to make a full blown change they go the Joaquin Benoit route, but they also may want to leave him in the 8th inning opening the door for Garcia to fully take the role over.
5.Archie Bradley (2)Arizona DiamondbacksFernando RodneyThe struggling team has made a bold move in acquiring J.D. Martinez, so would anyone think that they wouldn't make a change at closer if needed? You could argue that they'd be more likely to acquire a veteran to step in, as opposed to an inexperienced reliever spending his first season as a reliever. That said Bradley has taken to a relief role incredibly well, while Rodney has blown two saves in July. With the team fading a bit, it's possible their patience runs thin and they have a quicker trigger finger to make a move.


  • Sean Doolittle (1)
  • Trevor Rosenthal (3)

Dropped Off Rankings:

  • Hunter Strickland – San Francisco Giants (4)
  • Joaquin Benoit – Philadelphia Phillies (5)

Committees Not Currently Included:

  • Texas Rangers (Is Alex Claudio “The Man”?)

Others We’re Monitoring:

  • Cam Bedrosian – Los Angeles Angels
  • Brad Hand – San Diego Padres
  • Will Harris – Houston Astros
  • Taylor Rogers – Minnesota Twins
  • Joakim Soria – Kansas City Royals
  • Alex Wilson – Detroit Tigers

Injured Setup Men To Monitor:

  • Jake Barrett – Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Carter Capps – San Diego Padres

Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:

CatcherJune 1
First BaseJune 3
Second BaseJune 5
Third Base--
Starting Pitcher--
Relief Pitcher--


  1. Tim says:

    Who do you think closes in Detroit if a trade is made? Greene? Also, if you had to choose one in a dynasty format who would you pick? Clevenger or Gaussman as a stash. I’m not contending this year.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      As for the stash, I’d have to go Gausman. Despite his struggles this season the upside is still significantly higher.

      AS for Detroit, the situation will be a mess. I’d lean Greene for now, though I could see Rodon rising into role if he can find some consistency.

  2. Chris says:

    Hi Prof – You think the book is closed on Vizcaino? I guess it doesn’t seem like Johnson will get traded at this point…

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