Closing Time 7/5: Ranking The Top 45 Closers Every Tuesday

Happy Tuesday and welcome to Closing Time! A weekly check in on everything saves related, Closing Time is where all the closers and speculative options are broken down into tiers...

Happy Tuesday and welcome to Closing Time! A weekly check in on everything saves related, Closing Time is where all the closers and speculative options are broken down into tiers based on skill, competition/opportunity/job security, and injury risk. Accompanied by who is most likely to assume the closer role in the event of a change in the hierarchy. It’s a mixture of short and long term value with more focus placed on the rest of the season.

Share your questions and critiques in the comments, I’ll be sure to respond. Follow me on twitter @Just_In_Relief for occasional notes on bullpen happenings through a fantasy lens. Let’s get to it.


1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers) – Joe Blanton

2. Jeurys Familia (New York Mets) – Addison Reed

3. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles) – Brad Brach

4. Aroldis Chapman (New York Yankees) – Andrew Miller

5. Wade Davis (Kansas City Royals) – Kelvin Herrera / Joakim Soria Update: Wade Davis has been placed on the DL

6. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins) – Fernando Rodney


7. Mark Melancon (Pittsburgh Pirates) – Tony Watson

8. Sam Dyson (Texas Rangers) – Jake Diekman

9. Seung Hwan Oh (St. Louis Cardinals) – Jonathon Broxton

10. David Robertson (Chicago White Sox) – Nate Jones

11. Santiago Casilla (San Francisco Giants) – Hunter Strickland

12. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox) – Koji Uehara

13. Jonathan Papelbon (Washington Nationals) – Sean Kelley


14. Francisco Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers) – Justin Wilson

15. Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays) – Jason Grilli

16. Hector Rondon (Chicago Cubs) – Pedro Strop

17. Steve Cishek (Seattle Mariners) – Joaquin Benoit / Edwin Diaz

18. Will Harris (Houston Astros) – Ken Giles

19. Cody Allen (Cleveland Indians) – Bryan Shaw


20. Xavier Cedeno (Tampa Bay Rays) – Erasmo Ramirez

21. Brad Ziegler (Arizona Diamondbacks) – Daniel Hudson

22. Jeanmar Gomez (Philadelphia Phillies) – Hector Neris

23. Huston Street (Los Angeles Angels) – Fernando Salas

24. Brandon Maurer (San Diego Padres) – Ryan Buchter


25. Jeremy Jeffress (Milwaukee Brewers) – Tyler Thornberg

26. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves) – Jim Johnson

27. Ryan Madson (Oakland Athletics) – Sean Doolittle

28. Tony Cingrani (Cincinnati Reds) – Ross Ohlendorf

29. Carlos Estevez (Colorado Rockies) – Jake McGee

30. Brandon Kintzler (Minnesota Twins) – Fransisco Abad

TIER 7 – Speculative

31. Andrew Miller (New York Yankees)

32. Ryan Buchter (San Diego Padres)

33. Sean Doolittle (Oakland Athletics)

34. Will Smith (Milwaukee Brewers)

35. Jake McGee (Colorado Rockies)

36. Ken Giles (Houston Astros)

37. Jim Johnson (Atlanta Braves)

38. Sean Kelley (Washington Nationals)

39. Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals)

40. Hector Neris (Philadelphia Phillies)

41. Rasiel Iglesias (Cincinnati Reds)

42. Jason Grilli (Toronto Blue Jays)

43. Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)

44. Hunter Strickland (San Francisco Giants)

45. Jason Motte (Colorado Rockies)

46. Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays) Currently on DL


Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins) OUT FOR THE SEASON

Brad Boxberger (Tampa Bay Rays)

– Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays)


– We saw our first trade impact the closing world this week with Fernando Rodney now setting up for the Miami Marlins. Brandon Maurer is going to be taking over the closing role in San Diego for now, the leash probably will be short and if he can’t hold down the role look to Ryan Buchter to be given chances.

Jonathan Papelbon returned from the DL and immediately will resume his role as closer. Sean Kelley should be the next in line were Pap to go down again.

– Also returning from the DL is Jake McGee, but the report is that his return will not cost Carlos Estevez his job as a closer immediately.

– Hitting the DL was Alex Colome for the Rays, this is the second closer they’ve had injured and as they wait for the return of either Colome or Brandon Boxberger, Xavier Cedeno will take the closing reigns. Cedeno has been great in the set-up role and should continue his place in the 9th. The Rays, however, haven’t been winning much and so owning their closer right now isn’t exactly appealing if you are trying to rack up saves.

– The situation in St. Louis is still uncertain. My take is that Seung Hwan Oh is currently the favorite to close even though reports are that he and Jonathan Broxton are co-closers. Oh is clearly getting the first crack at the job and has already recorded two saves. I still think that the Cardinals are going to try to get Trevor Rosenthal back to the closing role before the season comes to an end. There are also rumors that they are looking to acquire someone like Chapman or Ziegler.

– At the very bottom Brandon Kintzler has seemingly separated himself from Francisco Abad. While Francisco has been uh… bad… Kintzler has racked up 4 saves to just 1 from Abad. Again, it’s the Twins and they aren’t getting many save chances. This is barely worth mentioning. 

– UPDATE: Wade Davis just hit the DL with a strained right forearm. Not an easy guy to replace for the Royals but it will soon become clear if it will be Kelvin Herrera or Joakim Soria. I think that Herrera is the guy that will get the first chance, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them both used in the ninth.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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