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Friday, March 9, 2007

Fantasy Baseball Rankings - Closers

These rankings are more for informational purposes than anything else, as we don't advocate taking closers early. For more Closer information, read these two articles we've recently written on the subject. In short, wait until the late rounds of the draft to take closers.

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.

Rank Pitcher Score
1 Eric Gagne 13.59
2 Joe Nathan 12.86
3 Brad Lidge 12.86
4 Francisco Rodriguez 12.36
5 Billy Wagner 12.32
6 B.J. Ryan 12.22
7 J.J. Putz 11.10
8 Jonathan Papelbon 10.78
9 Jose Valverde 10.68
10 Bobby Jenks 10.65
11 Tom Gordon 10.36
12 Mariano Rivera 10.26
13 Takashi Saito 9.91
14 Octavio Dotel 9.90
15 Huston Street 9.76
16 Francisco Cordero 9.63
17 Trevor Hoffman 9.34
18 Brian Fuentes 9.34
19 Chad Cordero 8.91
20 Jorge Julio 8.71
21 Jason Isringhausen 8.66
22 Danny Miceli 8.45
23 Bob Wickman 8.39
24 Chris Ray 8.28
25 Ryan Dempster 8.12
26 Armando Benitez 8.07
27 Arthur Rhodes 7.87
28 Salomon Torres 7.80
29 Chris Reitsma 7.79
30 Dustin Hermanson 7.70
31 Bill Bray 7.49
32 Joe Borowski 7.34
33 Mike Stanton 7.18
34 David Weathers 7.13
35 Todd Coffey 7.10
36 Todd Jones 7.05
37 Seth McClung 5.26

Teams that have closer jobs up for grabs include:
  • Reds
  • Red Sox
  • Devil Rays
  • Marlins (Tankersley's DLed to start the year and Owens and Lindstrom aren't included, but Owens is a good sleeper if he gets the job)

    Teams whose closer has an above average chance of getting injured or losing his job by year's end:
  • Tigers
  • Rangers
  • Braves
  • Cubs
  • Pirates
  • Cards
  • Giants
  • Phillies
  • Indians

  • 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.


    Anonymous said...

    Under "teams whose closer can get injured" you list only nine.
    Do the rest of the teams have Superman closing for them?

    Derek Carty said...

    Haha, no; I probably should have worded that better. Certainly every closer in the game has a chance of getting injured. These are just teams whose closer is already experiencing injury troubles or has a background of getting injured (i.e. Eric Gagne). These are guys who I think have an above average chance of getting injured.