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2021 Offseason Closer Thread


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Just now, ASHLANDARROWS1992 said:

Crick has had a very solid spring FWIW...not sure where his velocity stands compared to past healthy seasons - read a couple articles about not being sure of Rodriguez’s role also..guess it is possible Crick could get a shot at closing games, but that seems very up in the air at the moment 

Crick’s velocity is back up to 93.

https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/baseball/news/pirates-kyle-crick-shuts-down-orioles/

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Ill take a stab: Arizona Diamondbacks - Unclear.  Crichton/Soria/Devinski/Ginkel.  Total guess. I lean Crichton for first shot.  Bukaskas wild card.  May be the smart play Atlanta Braves -

Last stab.  These are just my opinions based on months of research and reading the tea leaves.  I've filtered ADP to only include March drafts.  My spelling will also be atrocious.  Guys can get trade

Ranking closers has been especially difficult this year with so many jobs still up for grabs this late in the game. Here's my attempt to rank them for traditional saves only roto leagues: 1. Liam

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3 hours ago, meh2 said:

16. Brad Hand - he's looked bad this spring and his velo is down again. I'm concerned he falls off a cliff soon and when he loses a tick or two in velocity he gets hammered. I have zero shares.

 

https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/baseball/news/nationals-brad-hand-velocity-creeping-up/

I read this in regard to Hands velocity, which they say is right were he was last year.  I agree that he has looked bad this Spring stat wise, but his velocity is where it was last year and he put up great numbers.  I don't think it's time to panic on Hand yet, although having a contingency plan might not be a bad idea.

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7 minutes ago, damana said:

https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/baseball/news/nationals-brad-hand-velocity-creeping-up/

I read this in regard to Hands velocity, which they say is right were he was last year.  I agree that he has looked bad this Spring stat wise, but his velocity is where it was last year and he put up great numbers.  I don't think it's time to panic on Hand yet, although having a contingency plan might not be a bad idea.

His last 2 outings his max velo was 91.1mph, which is down a couple ticks. His velo was down at the end of 2019 and the early part of the 2020 season before it bounced back and he got hit hard during those times. He gets knocked around when it’s down so unlike some of the flamethrowers, he doesn’t have the same margin of error. Maybe he just needs time to ramp up, but with 3 straight years of declining velocity, I’ll let someone else take him at that ADP. 

 

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2 hours ago, meh2 said:

His last 2 outings his max velo was 91.1mph, which is down a couple ticks. His velo was down at the end of 2019 and the early part of the 2020 season before it bounced back and he got hit hard during those times. He gets knocked around when it’s down so unlike some of the flamethrowers, he doesn’t have the same margin of error. Maybe he just needs time to ramp up, but with 3 straight years of declining velocity, I’ll let someone else take him at that ADP. 

 

Looking at that chart, he only threw 2 fastballs and one was a sinker.  Maybe he's working on a new grip or messing with spin rate, as it does look like his spin was up on the fastball.  While I do agree that so far the results aren't promising and I'm also concerned over the dip in velocity, it is only spring training.  At Hands current ADP I am probably avoiding, but if you can grab him a round or two later and then handcuff with Rainey, I'm not totally opposed to that.  He is one of the few closers at this point with an established role, which is valuable, especially in only leagues. 

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19 minutes ago, meh2 said:

Cincinnati announces everyone is a closer!

 

In my best Oprah voice: “You get a closer! And you get a closer! And yoooouuuuuuu get a closer!!”

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David Bell is not a competent manager.  Garrett goes out there and pitches in 3 games and strikes everyone out.  He wants the job.  He has the mentality for a closer, but we'll give the job to Sean Doolittle.

If Bell's last name wasn't Bell he would be bagging groceries at Kroger.

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1 hour ago, cyberer said:

The San Diego situation has been quiet. Pomeranz back in action. Whole thing is clear as mud

There’s murkier situations out there. Both Kevin Acee and Dennis Lin have been reporting for weeks that Pagan is the front runner internally.

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2 hours ago, Short Porch said:

David Bell is not a competent manager.  Garrett goes out there and pitches in 3 games and strikes everyone out.  He wants the job.  He has the mentality for a closer, but we'll give the job to Sean Doolittle.

If Bell's last name wasn't Bell he would be bagging groceries at Kroger.

I don’t judge managers for not naming 1 closer and 1 closer only. Tons of situations outside of the 9th inning up 3 or less to use your best relievers.

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Yea I’m that’s a standard answer.  Doolittle has looked terrible.  Sims coming off of injury, was blasted his first game back, and velocity down.  He’s certainly talented enough to get some opps, but not shaping up well now.   Really seems like this is going to be Garrett taking the majority.  

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Maybe I'm just being overly optimistic, but I think Karinchak will be fine and run with the closer role. He was elite last year, and while his Spring hasn't been great, his stuff still remains elite.

Wittgren and Clase are also getting overhyped, IMO. Wittgren has 4 career saves in 198 games, and has never had an xFIP below 3.98 in his career. Clase on the other hand missed all of 2020 due to injury as well as suspension. He has great stuff, but in his only MLB experience his K/9 was only 8.1, compared to Karinchak's 17.0.

I believe people are just overreacting to Spring numbers which we know mean nothing but are hard to ignore.

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10 hours ago, kidtwentytwo said:

Yea I’m that’s a standard answer.  Doolittle has looked terrible.  Sims coming off of injury, was blasted his first game back, and velocity down.  He’s certainly talented enough to get some opps, but not shaping up well now.   Really seems like this is going to be Garrett taking the majority.  

What are we to make of this? There’s literally nothing else Garrett could do more to earn the closer job. Doolittle is terrible and Sims has been dealing with elbow tightness. Is Bell just playing coy to keep Garrett on his game? Can we count on Garrett? I just traded Aroldis Chapman in my dynasty because I was ready to start AG at closer. (No regrets, he was part of a deal to get Bobby Witt, Jr.) But do I need to grab a low end guy like Holland with a defined job to cover me the first few weeks? Or is this nonsense and AG will be the guy?

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3 minutes ago, TheForearmShiver said:

What are we to make of this? There’s literally nothing else Garrett could do more to earn the closer job. Doolittle is terrible and Sims has been dealing with elbow tightness. Is Bell just playing coy to keep Garrett on his game? Can we count on Garrett? I just traded Aroldis Chapman in my dynasty because I was ready to start AG at closer. (No regrets, he was part of a deal to get Bobby Witt, Jr.) But do I need to grab a low end guy like Holland with a defined job to cover me the first few weeks? Or is this nonsense and AG will be the guy?

I would interpret it as being a committee -at least to start the season.  But if there are freely available closers in your league, why not pick them up?

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18 minutes ago, BMcP said:

I would interpret it as being a committee -at least to start the season.  But if there are freely available closers in your league, why not pick them up?

Yeah, I just hate dropping guys for another closer when I’m already forced to roster Sims. I still can’t believe Sims would even be on equal footing with AG considering he’s coming off elbow pain and only 2 IP to the tune of a 9.00 ERA. Honestly nobody should be on equal footing who quite is literally striking out every batter he faces, but I digress. 

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3 minutes ago, TheForearmShiver said:

Yeah, I just hate dropping guys for another closer when I’m already forced to roster Sims. I still can’t believe Sims would even be on equal footing with AG considering he’s coming off elbow pain and only 2 IP to the tune of a 9.00 ERA. Honestly nobody should be on equal footing who quite is literally striking out every batter he faces, but I digress. 

Not to get too B/C here, but Holland seems much more likely to receive save opportunities.

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43 minutes ago, TheForearmShiver said:

What are we to make of this? There’s literally nothing else Garrett could do more to earn the closer job. Doolittle is terrible and Sims has been dealing with elbow tightness. Is Bell just playing coy to keep Garrett on his game? Can we count on Garrett? I just traded Aroldis Chapman in my dynasty because I was ready to start AG at closer. (No regrets, he was part of a deal to get Bobby Witt, Jr.) But do I need to grab a low end guy like Holland with a defined job to cover me the first few weeks? Or is this nonsense and AG will be the guy?

I'm still putting all my eggs in the Amir Garrett basket. The beauty of this news is that it will depress his draft value a bit. Full disclosure, I typically play in saves+holds leagues so that might be clouding my judgement a bit. 

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27 minutes ago, BMcP said:

Not to get too B/C here, but Holland seems much more likely to receive save opportunities.

I hear ya. There are other similar, even younger options. I used Holland as an example of an older uninspiring option for dynasty but a stopgap until the Reds hopefully figure it out. 

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I still think Garrett gets the majority of the saves, but doesn't get all of them. Maybe 75 percent 

If a team has a run of good left handed bats coming up in the 8th in a close game, I think they use AG there.

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On 3/27/2021 at 1:45 PM, meh2 said:

Ranking closers has been especially difficult this year with so many jobs still up for grabs this late in the game. Here's my attempt to rank them for traditional saves only roto leagues:

1. Liam Hendricks - not much to say, elite closer on a good team.

2. Josh Hader - stud closer, should have plenty of leash. I'm fading Devin Williams but if I drafted Hader, I'd consider handcuffing with Williams.

3. Edwin Diaz - Chapman and Diaz are very close, but I give Diaz a slight edge due to youth and strikeout upside

4. Aroldis Chapman - still a beast, but I worry a bit about his elbow breaking down

5. Raisel Iglesias - should have plenty of leash, k rate has been increasing and bb rate has been declining last 3 years

6. Ryan Pressly - not quite elite, but one of my favorite targets this year since I don't like using a top 6 pick on a closer

7. Kenley Jansen - he's looked really solid this spring and the Dodgers should win 100+ games

8. Trevor Rosenthal - his prior injury and control issues are a little concerning, but he has elite upside

9. Will Smith - there's a chance Chris Martin gets some save chances, but Smith is back to throwing the ball like he did in 2019 and the Braves are going to win a lot of games. I'd handcuff with Martin to be safe.

10. Craig Kimbrel - this high of a ranking will get some groans, but I think his stuff is still there and he should still have some leash

11. Justin Romano - he's not the confirmed closer, but I believe he'll get the job and run with it 

12. Amir Garrett - also not confirmed to be closer yet, but there's enough upside here to get me excited

13. Greg Holland - his stuff looked much sharper last year and he looks good again this spring.

14. Anthony Bass - I'm probably the high man on Bass but I think he does a solid job this year closing out games for a team that generates a lot of save chances

15. Dan Bard - also an aggressive ranking, but his stuff looks great and shouldn't have any competition

16. Brad Hand - he's looked bad this spring and his velo is down again. I'm concerned he falls off a cliff soon and when he loses a tick or two in velocity he gets hammered. I have zero shares.

17. Rafael Montero - he's not very flashy but there isn't much competition for saves

18. James Karinchak - now we enter into the land of undecided closer roles. I'm fading Karinchak as I think Wittgren ends of in the 9th, but he has #1 closer upside if given the role exclusively. Please handcuff with Wittgren if you're taking him!

19. Alex Colome - I'm not sure what to make of the 9th inning gig in Minny but my money is on a 65:35 split with Colome getting more saves than Rogers

20. Jake McGee - this is probably the highest you'll see McGee ranked, but I think he gets the most saves in San Fran (even though Kapler gonna Kapler).

21. Hector Neris - Neris, Alvarado, and Bradley have all looked solid this spring, but I think Neris emerges victorious with the 9th inning gig

22. Emilio Pagan - beat writers have been hinting Pagan will get 1st shot at the 9th and I agree. The problem is I'm not sure he's good enough to run with it and there's plenty of competition lurking

23. Matt Barnes - I've never been a Barnes guy. I guess he could run with the job, but insert queasy emoji 

24. Pete Fairbanks/Diego Castillo - flip a coin and hope for the best?

25. Jordan Hicks - the 9th inning gig in St. Louis should be quite valuable but I have no idea who emerges. Alex Reyes is my favorite dark horse candidate.

26. Ian Kennedy - eh, not much upside here, but I think he gets announced as closer in the next couple of days unless Matt Bush attempts to run him over in the parking lot.

27. Richard Rodriguez - I suppose I have to rank him somewhere. The truth is I think he's better suited for facing the left-handed parts of lineups. Even if he does well, he's getting traded. Pittsburgh has some interesting arms in the backend if and when he gets dealt. 

28. Joakim Soria - I have a hard time getting excited about Soria or any other arm in this bullpen. Their best arm  (Bukauskas) has already been shipped to the minors to work on his defense

29. Tanner Scott/Cesar Valdez - I think there's some upside here in the winner of the 9th inning battle

30. Detroit's closer - the fantasy community is waiting with bated breath for the announcement of who gets the 9th inning gig in Detroit.

Others of note:

Devin Williams - I don't like drafting setup guys in standard weekly roto formats, but if something were to happen to Hader he could be the #1 closer. I have concerns about his injury history. He's got the best changeup in the history of the world. 

Nick Wittgren - I think he gets the first save opportunity in Cleveland with Karinchak and Clase in the "fireman" roles. Whether he can hang onto it all year is TBD.

Well here is my take, which is totally different.

1. Aroldis Chapman - Yankees always stick to their guy and he is good. And Yankees do not trade away closers.

2. Josh Hader - 2nd safest pick

3. Liam Hendricks - Last of the top tear.

4. Raisel Iglesias - He is the Closer. Period. Maddon stuck with Kimbrel from first day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until an expiring contract did them apart.

5. Trevor Rosenthal - he was bad only after TJ, and the A's know what they are doing. Diekman looked good, they still named Rosie Closer without hesitation.

6. Brad Hand - He was burried so many times in the closer thread before but this guy just gets it done. He always worked himself out of problems.

7. Ryan Pressly - HC did not name closer, but come on, what else he got there

8. Kenley Jansen - He has competition for the gig

9. Edwin Diaz - He has lost his job before, so he is not safe, but HC has confidence, and he is pitching well

10. Rafael Montero - not much of a track record, but I trust him. For now. Just as the Mariners

11. Justin Romano - HC did not confirm, but seems like everyone knows it's him

12. Adam Ottavino - With Barnes out of the picture, I like this guy

13. Anthony Bass - Yimi Garcia looked good, yet the Marlins went to get this guy and named him closer without much hesitation. He can pitch well and Marlins might not trade him.

14. Greg Holland - he looks fine and KC is better, so might not get traded

15. Jake McGee - I think Gabe Kapler will not use a comitee, but if I could be sure, I would rank him higher.

16. Dan Bard - HC named him closer. That is worth a lot these days.

17. Ian Kennedy - I assume the Rangers will win some games, and at the moment no one else is there to challenge him.

18. Craig Kimbrel - I have no trust in this guy at all. But he is the closer. One good month, I mean the 7 good innings, does not make me forget the constant sucking. Anyway, Cubs bullpen sucks.

19. Joakim Soria - I have no trust in this guy either, But he is named closer. I think.

19. Nick Wittgren  - Word is that HC wants Karinchak to be fireman. So take Wittgren. Low price low risk, high reward. But he is not a closer yet.

20. Kyle Crick - Well HC says Richard Rodriguez will be used as fireman. Don't trust him either, but what to do?

21. Gregory Soto - his WHIP is scary, but he is clearly the best option. And if one could tolerate Kimbrel ...

 

x. Jordan Hicks + Giovanny Gallegos + Alex Reyes + Andrew Miller + Ryan Helsley - not a single word. And you have pay up to get Hicks or Gallegos, which might be just dead money.

x. Hector Neris + Jose Alvarado + Archie Bradley. - Pick your poison. One of them might be named closer. Or not.

x. Tanner Scott/Cesar Valdez - Same here

 

y. Will Smith + Chris Martin. - According to HC this is a comitee. Who gets more saves and by what margin is pure luck.

y. Alex Colome + Taylor Rogers - Same as Atlanta

y. Mark Melancon + Emilio Pagan + Drew Pomeranz - I would assume Melancon was signed to be closer, but Pomeranz is the best arm. Pagan is capable, and some inside guy heard a rumor it is Pagan. Which suggests it is a full blown comitee.

y. Diego Castillo + Pete Fairbanks + some others - I don't think a comment is needed here.

y. Amir Garrett - and the entire bullpen is the Closer. Good pitcher not many saves. According to HC, even Tejay Antone might be used to close games.

Edited by JCD
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10 minutes ago, 89Topps said:

I thought Cinci had announced Garrett was the guy. No?  Guess not.

 Any news on if Soto is for sure the guy in Det?

Both CIN and DET have announced there won't be a set closer to start the season.

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1 hour ago, JCD said:

Well here is my take, which is totally different.

1. Aroldis Chapman - Yankees always stick to their guy and he is good. And Yankees do not trade away closers.

2. Josh Hader - 2nd safest pick

3. Liam Hendricks - Last of the top tear.

4. Raisel Iglesias - He is the Closer. Period. Maddon stuck with Kimbrel from first day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until an expiring contract did them apart.

5. Trevor Rosenthal - he was bad only after TJ, and the A's know what they are doing. Diekman looked good, they still named Rosie Closer without hesitation.

6. Brad Hand - He was burried so many times in the closer thread before but this guy just gets it done. He always worked himself out of problems.

7. Ryan Pressly - HC did not name closer, but come on, what else he got there

8. Kenley Jansen - He has competition for the gig

9. Edwin Diaz - He has lost his job before, so he is not safe, but HC has confidence, and he is pitching well

10. Rafael Montero - not much of a track record, but I trust him. For now. Just as the Mariners

11. Justin Romano - HC did not confirm, but seems like everyone knows it's him

12. Adam Ottavino - With Barnes out of the picture, I like this guy

13. Anthony Bass - Yimi Garcia looked good, yet the Marlins went to get this guy and named him closer without much hesitation. He can pitch well and Marlins might not trade him.

14. Greg Holland - he looks fine and KC is better, so might not get traded

15. Jake McGee - I think Gabe Kapler will not use a comitee, but if I could be sure, I would rank him higher.

16. Dan Bard - HC named him closer. That is worth a lot these days.

17. Ian Kennedy - I assume the Rangers will win some games, and at the moment no one else is there to challenge him.

18. Craig Kimbrel - I have no trust in this guy at all. But he is the closer. One good month, I mean the 7 good innings, does not make me forget the constant sucking. Anyway, Cubs bullpen sucks.

19. Joakim Soria - I have no trust in this guy either, But he is named closer. I think.

19. Nick Wittgren  - Word is that HC wants Karinchak to be fireman. So take Wittgren. Low price low risk, high reward. But he is not a closer yet.

20. Kyle Crick - Well HC says Richard Rodriguez will be used as fireman. Don't trust him either, but what to do?

21. Gregory Soto - his WHIP is scary, but he is clearly the best option. And if one could tolerate Kimbrel ...

 

x. Jordan Hicks + Giovanny Gallegos + Alex Reyes + Andrew Miller + Ryan Helsley - not a single word. And you have pay up to get Hicks or Gallegos, which might be just dead money.

x. Hector Neris + Jose Alvarado + Archie Bradley. - Pick your poison. One of them might be named closer. Or not.

x. Tanner Scott/Cesar Valdez - Same here

 

y. Will Smith + Chris Martin. - According to HC this is a comitee. Who gets more saves and by what margin is pure luck.

y. Alex Colome + Taylor Rogers - Same as Atlanta

y. Mark Melancon + Emilio Pagan + Drew Pomeranz - I would assume Melancon was signed to be closer, but Pomeranz is the best arm. Pagan is capable, and some inside guy heard a rumor it is Pagan. Which suggests it is a full blown comitee.

y. Diego Castillo + Pete Fairbanks + some others - I don't think a comment is needed here.

y. Amir Garrett - and the entire bullpen is the Closer. Good pitcher not many saves. According to HC, even Tejay Antone might be used to close games.

Multiple inside sources say Pagan. You never know but appears there is serious smoke there.

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