Closing Time 7/19: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching and a seemingly aggressive market for both buyers and sellers, it does seem likely that we see more deals than usual 2 weeks from...

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching and a seemingly aggressive market for both buyers and sellers, it does seem likely that we see more deals than usual 2 weeks from now. There was already two major move related to this list, that being the Nationals finally bolstering their bullpen by acquiring both Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. They still need one more option, preferably a legitimate closer candidate and with more than half of this list being mentioned in potential trade talks, they should be able to find one. The other deal happened late last night with the Yankees adding David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle from the White Sox for a package of prospects. Even with those 4 moving, Anthony Swarzak would be my top add this week for save needy fantasy owners.

TIER 1: Nothing Compares 2 U

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)—Pedro Baez, Sergio Romo

2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)—Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree

3. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays)—Ryan Tepera, Danny Barnes

  • Craig Kimbrel blew a save on Saturday allowing a solo HR to Matt Holliday, but other than that its been business as usual in limited work for this group following the All-Star break. Kenley Jansen is on pace for having one of if not the best seasons ever for a closer, while the 22-year old Roberto Osuna looks like one of the games most exciting rising young stars.

TIER 2: Save Tonight

4. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees)—Dellin BetancesDavid Robertson, Tommy Kahnle

5. Greg Holland (Colorado Rockies)—Jake McGee, Adam Ottavino

6. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)—Juan NicasioTony Watson

7. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)—Luke GregersonChris Devenski

8. Corey Knebel (Milwaukee Brewers)—Jacob BarnesCarlos Torres

9. Edwin Diaz (Seattle Mariners)—Nick Vincent, Tony Zych

10. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)—Carl Edwards Jr., Koji Uehara

11. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians)—Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw 

12. Raisel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)—Drew Storen, Michael Lorenzen

13. Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals)—Joakim SoriaMike Minor 

14. Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)—Brad BoxbergerTommy Hunter

15. Bud Norris (Los Angeles Angels)—Cam Bedrosian, David Hernandez

  • Aroldis Chapman just doesn’t seem to be the same guy we are used to this year. It is probably due to him battling injuries more than his career beginning to decline, but it is still concerning his WHIP sits at 1.46 thru 26 appearances. It’s more likely than not that he regains his dominant ways and moves back into the top-tier sooner rather than later. If not, the Yankees now boast the best bullpen in baseball so they have fallback options.
  • Of all the rumored RP trade options, I’d list Alex Colome and Kelvin Herrera the least likely to move by the trade deadline. Justin Wilson and Addison Reed are both legitimate top 15 closing options right now, but also have higher odds to be moved, and unless they are going to Washington, both would likely wind up in set-up roles.

TIER 3: Bound for the Floor

16. Justin Wilson (Detroit Tigers)—Alex Wilson, Shane Green

17. Addison Reed (New York Mets)—Fernando Salas, Paul Sewald

18. Brandon Kintzler (Minnesota Twins)—Taylor Rogers, Matt Belisle 

19. Brandon Maurer (San Diego Padres)—Brad HandPhil Maton

20. Zach Britton/Brad Brach (Baltimore Orioles)—Mychal Givens, Darren O’Day 

21. Anthony Swarzak (Chicago White Sox)—Tyler Clippard, Dan Jennings

22. Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals)—Brett Cecil, Matt Bowman

23. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)—Joaquin Benoit, Pat Neshek

24. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins)—Kyle BarracloughDavid Phelps

25. Jim Johnson (Atlanta Braves)—Jose Ramirez, Luke Jackson

26. Santiago Casilla (Oakland Athletics)—Blake Treinen, Liam Hendriks

27. Fernando Rodney (Arizona Diamondbacks)—Archie Bradley, Jorge De La Rosa 

  • This may be a bit drastic, but I really do have a strong feeling that both Zach Britton and Brad Brach are moved this trade deadline. Both of them could conceivably get the Orioles a huge return to help them rejuvenate a mediocre at best farm system, while opening the door for closer of the future Mychal Givens to start earning save chances. This makes sense for a team that isn’t in need of a total rebuild, but still needs to shake things up and look towards the future. At this point, you can argue Britton, Brach and Givens need to be owned until things are sorted out July 31st.
  • Most people were gearing up for the Tommy Kahnle era in Chicago as David Robertson was seen as the most likely closer to be dealt by the deadline. Then the Yankees had to go and acquire both Robertson and Kahnle, leaving just Anthony Swarzak as the only possible closer candidate left for the White Sox. He’s put together an outstanding season though, and should be a solid option for the rest of the year.
  • It looks like Trevor Rosenthal will get an extended look as the Cardinals closer for the foreseeable future, which is still nothing to get overly excited about. He has been pitching much better of late, and there is certainly a chance he holds on to the job for the remainder of the season. There is just as likely a chance Mike Matheny goes back to Seung Hwan Oh and/or Brett Cecil for save opportunities. Maybe Matt Bowman will get a chance if St. Louis falls out of contention.

TIER 4: Better Days (and the Bottom Drops Out)

28. Sam Dyson (San Francisco Giants)—Hunter Strickland, George Kontos

29. Sean Doolittle/Ryan Madson (Washington Nationals)—Enny Romero, Matt Albers

30. Matt Bush/Jose Leclerc/Alex Claudio (Texas Rangers)

  • It seemed like everyone was freaking out this weekend about the Nats/A’s deal that sent both Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle to Washington with people wanting to know who will close and who to pick up/spend their FAAB budget on. The real answer is neither probably ends up closing more than a few games, and neither is anything more than a pure speculative add at this point. While the two were in Oakland, I preferred Doolittle as Madson’s successor just based on pure stuff and strikeout ability, and still do prefer him giving the fact Dusty’s three most reliable relievers were already left-handed. That meaning there is no need to strictly play matchups with Doolittle, as you can use Enny Romero or Oliver Perez to get lefties out prior to the 9th inning. I’ve also seen a lot of talk about Dusty being old schools and wanting a more conventional right-handed pitcher for the 9th. Romero, Perez, Matt Grace and Sammy Solis have all been used in save situations this season already.
  • The Rangers closing situation is still a debacle that is best to stay away from, at least until Keone Kela returns. When he does, the situation could become more clear (him being THE guy) or just as possible, get murkier, with a 4 man committee.


Disabled List

Jeurys Familia (New York Mets)

Mark Melancon (San Francisco Giants)

Koda Glover (Washington Nationals)

Keone Kela (Texas Rangers)

Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)

Will Harris (Houston Astros)

Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels)

Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins

Brad Ziegler (Miami Marlins)

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.

5 responses to “Closing Time 7/19: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday”

  1. Aaron Benner says:

    Will Clippard or Swarzak be closing for the sox?

    • Rick Graham says:

      It should be Swarzak given how terrible Clippard had been this season.

    • Rick Graham says:

      Well it looks like the White Sox will go with Clippard for some reason. It’s tough to recommend him as an option going forward outside of the deepest of leagues.

  2. Is your Disabled List ranked in any way?
    If it is, I would expect Glover to fall at least behind Harris.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login