Closing Time 3/22 Update: Top 50 Closers for 2024

Ranking baseball's closers for the 2024 season.




  • Devastating news for the Brewers as Devin Williams has been diagnosed with two stress fractures in his back and is expected to miss roughly three months. While the timetable may be three months, it’s certainly possible this could keep Williams out longer, perhaps even for the season as back issues can be tricky. At this point, I’d imagine Trevor Megill, Abner Uribe, and Joel Payamps are rostered in your league as we wait to see who can run with the closer role, but if Megill is still available in any 12-team league, I’d be looking to roster him ASAP. Uribe is certainly worth a look as well, but I would say he’s more of a 14-team or deeper speculative add. Payamps is not nearly as talented as those two, so I’m likely avoiding him, but in 16-team or deeper formats, he could be worth the risk.
  • Jhoan Duran will begin the season on the 15-day injured list with a moderate oblique strain, with the timetable roughly being 6-8 weeks before he returns to game action. That puts Griffin Jax in line to get saves for the first month and a half of the season perhaps, making him worth a roster spot over the likes of Carlos Estévez or Kyle Finnegan who may not be closing games by the time Duran returns. Brock Stewart could also be worth of a speculative add, but probably only in deeper leagues. 


  • Jordan Romano (elbow) and Erik Swanson (forearm) likely to begin the season on the IL. Swanson was able to play catch yesterday while Romano was given an anti-inflammatory injection and hopes to resume throwing this weekend. I think we are looking at Romano being out for at least two weeks to begin the year, with Swanson also questionable for opening day. This puts Yimi García on the map as a potential streaming option for the first week, maybe two, of the season. Although beware, the Jays open up with the Rays, Astros, and Yankees, all on the road.  
  • José Leclerc was named the opening day closer for the Rangers by Bruce Bochy, which is a win for everyone who has drafted Leclerc so far but this is also a guy who has struggled at the start of seasons in the past so I still don’t hate the idea of rostering David Robertson or Josh Sborz in deeper leagues just to wait and see how Leclerc fairs in the early stages. 


  • Cubs manager Craig Counsell said last week that “every bullpen has to evolve” and that the role of his relievers is simply “to get outs” as he refuses to name Adbert Alzolay as the team’s closer. This is definitely concerning to Alzolay managers, as this has been trending this way more and more now since Hector Neris signed. I still like Alzolay here the most, but the gap is closing between him and Neris, with Julian Merryweather, who has the best stuff in that bullpen, also moving up the board. 
  • Kyle Finnegan returned to game action yesterday after dealing with a back problem for the past week, and while he didn’t look particularly great, as long as his back feels fine today that’s all that matters really. I’d still imagine he opens the year as the closer, but Hunter Harvey has had a great spring and is the better long-term option of the two (as long as he can remain healthy). 


  • The Royals closer race remains too close to call, with James McArthur outpitching Will Smith this spring (and in the second half of last season) but it’s hard to count out a veteran with closing experience like Smith just yet. That said, if I’m looking to roster one of them, it’s clearly McArthur at this point for me as Smith just doesn’t do anything for me at this stage of his career.
  • John Brebbia (calf) made his spring debut yesterday and looked fine allowing one hit and striking out one. I still think he is the closer for this team on opening day, as there’s no real need for the team to rush Jordan Leasure into the role, but Leasure remains someone to keep an eye on and is certainly worth the dart throw at the end of drafts with the potential strikeout upside he carries. 


EDIT: Paul Sewald was removed following the news he will miss time with a grade 2 oblique strain

Rick Graham

Rick resides in the Boston area and has experience as a player and coach at the collegiate level. He has been covering relievers for Pitcher List since 2017.

4 responses to “Closing Time 3/22 Update: Top 50 Closers for 2024”

  1. Peter North says:

    On issues with Scott’s command this spring? He’s been wild most of his career except for half of last year

    • Rick Graham says:

      There was a point a few weeks ago where I was starting to get a little concerned…but he’s now gone four straight outings without issuing a walk. He made changes to how he approached hitters last season (aggressive in the zone early, first pitch strikes, just trusting how good his stuff is to attack hitters) and I have no reason to believe that won’t carry over this year.

  2. Chucky says:

    I’m gonna zig while you zag in Milwaukee. Payamps is to Devin Williams, as Devin Williams was to Josh Hader. I do think it will be a committee for sure, but I’m guessing the experienced veteran Payamps will get the first shot to close. Payamps might be more valuable to his team in the 8th than in the 9th but all things being equal, I think he gets first dibs.

    • Rick Graham says:

      Payamps could get the first crack at it, but he really struggled down the stretch last season and it’s carried into spring training this year. As far as experience goes, Payamps does have 183 IP to Megill’s 103 IP, but Megill does have actual closer experience at the minor league level (if that means anything…it may not). As far as talent goes between the three, it’s Megill, Uribe and then Payamps a distant third.

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