Draft Day Strategy - Closers
Sleeper Alert - Late Round Closers
Like our Starting Pitcher Rankings, these don't take injury risk into account. While Gagne is #1, I wouldn't recommend drafting him - even if I recommended drafting top closers in general - because he is a huge risk and has Akinori Otsuka (a great option if Gagne does go down) breathing down his neck. Our Closer Rankings include player's involved in Closer Battles, not just the front runners.
Lastly, these Closer Rankings only represent the player's skill, not his likely hood to receive save opportunities. As this is a delicate thing to predict, we aren't even going to attempt it. We don't have a scientific way of doing it at the moment, but it is something we will be looking into for 2008. This is explained more in our Draft Day Strategy article on Closers.
Without further ado, our Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings.
Teams that have closer jobs up for grabs include:
Teams whose closer has an above average chance of getting injured or losing his job by year's end:
The two lists above illustrate one of my biggest arguments for waiting on closers. Guys will be available on the waiver wire, and this year, lots of great options will be.
UPDATE 3/9: Brendan Donnelly, Joel Pineiro, Craig Hansen, and Jonathan Papelbon added with the news of Mike Timlin's injury (Thanks to Jason McAdams of My Baseball Bias for the tip). I wouldn't touch any of these guys until something is resolved. Unless Papelbon takes the job, which doctors continue to say he shouldn't do for health reasons, I don't see the Red Sox trusting any of these guys in their run for the playoffs. I see a mid-season trade as the most likely scenario.
UPDATE: 3/16: Julian Tavarez, Chris Reitsma, and Arthur Rhodes added.
UPDATE: 3/26: All Red Sox (except Jonathan Papelbon) removed with news that Papelbon will close. Dustin Hermanson added.
UPDATE: 3/26: Jorge Julio added with the news that he has been traded to the Marlins.