Reliever Handcuffs for 2024

Top Relief Pitcher Handcuffs for the 2024 season

Here we will break down some relievers who are next in line for saves who are worth taking a look at late in drafts. Most of the names in this group have closer experience, and all of them should begin the season in either an 8th or 7th-inning setup role. Don’t think that you need to draft Ryan Pressly just because you drafted Josh Hader, as I’ve never been much of a proponent of rostering team handcuffs at the same time. That being said, I do kind of like the idea (if you have the roster space) of pairing guys like Matsui, Neris, Robertson, and maybe even McArthur with their respective closers (Suarez, Alzolay, Leclerc, Will Smith) this season. These rankings and player notes are from the Top 50 Closers list with the purpose of this article to identify closers who would be the next in line for saves should their team’s closers miss any time or lose the role.




30. Ryan Pressly (HOU) – Pressly saw his ERA and WHIP rise this season but still finished with 31 saves and 74 strikeouts. Is the 34-year-old’s stuff diminishing at all? Well, he finished with a 5.29 PLV and 156 Stuff+ which was the highest among all relievers, so I wouldn’t write him off anytime soon. The big change for Pressly this season will be the team’s addition of Josh Hader, moving Pressly into a setup role who should also be able to pitch in 5-10 saves.


31. Yuki Matsui (SD) – Matsui was one of Japan’s best relievers last season and is expected to begin the season in a high-leverage role for the Padres. I haven’t seen a whole lot of him (there is some video here and there, he only threw one inning in last year’s WBC), so I don’t have much of a scouting report, but SIS did a pretty good job breaking down both Matsui and his new teammate Woo-suk Go.


32. Hector Neris (CHC) – Neris declined his $8.5 mil player option with the Astros and wound up getting a slight raise in his new one-year $9 mil deal with the Cubs. He is coming off a great season with a 1.75 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 15.4% SwStr rate, and 29.8% ICR although that does come with a career-high 4.45 xFIP and career-low .219 BABIP. I still lean towards Adbert Alzolay as the opening day closer here, but Neris certainly makes things interesting.


33. David Robertson (TEX) – Robertson will be 39 for most of the 2024 season and fading down the stretch for the Marlins, but his 38 saves over the past two seasons were able to get him a nice one-year, $11.5 mil deal. It’s a good landing spot as far as save/hold chances go, but I’d still have more faith in José Leclerc and Sborz long-term.


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.

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