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Off-season Closer Thread 2016/17

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Obvioiusly given the collapse in the second half and so many of them blown by the pen, you know the Giants will probably be "all in" on a new closer unless they make the playoffs and someone like Law steps up as closer in post-season.   I think two of the biggest names are free agents to be, Chapman and Jensen, so if the Cubs or Dodgers were to lose one of them, obviously they would be in market for closer. .  

 

I think the fact the Pads went out of their way to include Capps  in the Marlins deal(who was out with TJ) probably tells me that he is in their plans as a closer, he was putting up Chapman like strikeout numbers when he went down last year, so watch him, Maurer has been pretty good the last month, but his overall numbers do not suggest elite.  

 

Another interesting one is going to be Greg Holland, former Royals closer who was one of the best in the game, went down to TJ late in 2015 season, missing all of this season as result, believe he is a free agent.  

 

Detroit is another potential changing situation I believe K Rod is a free agent to be, for many seasons now seems Rondon was "closer in waiting" but havent followed the situation that closely.   Melancon is another free agent so Nats situation could change.  Assuming a lot of these free agents could just be musical chairs and switching teams.  .  

 

 

 

 

 

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The A's will be another situation worth monitoring, they have Madson signed for a few more years and at a decent price, but he is in his mid 30's and the A's are in full rebuild, this is a classic-Beane trade chip, so look for Madson to be dealt for a couple of minor leaguers.  Likely leaving Doolittle and Dull perhaps to battle it out for 2017 closer. 

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54 minutes ago, parrothead said:

Detroit is another potential changing situation I believe K Rod is a free agent to be, for many seasons now seems Rondon was "closer in waiting" but havent followed the situation that closely.  

 

k-rod has an option that's only $6M so figure that's going to get picked up.

 

the new detroit closer-in-waiting is joe jimenez, who went from A-ball to AAA this year and didn't allow a run for basically the entire first half. so he's really interesting. but between K-rod almost definitely still being there next year and the way the tigers have been taking it slow with jimenez (i know moving up 2 levels in one season doesn't seem "slow", but for a relief pitcher throwing as well as he was it actually seemed pretty conservative) he's much more of a 2018 closer prospect than 2017. (still a good name to know, if something happens to K-rod midyear he'll be in play)

Edited by wily mo
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13 minutes ago, wily mo said:

 

k-rod has an option that's only $6M so figure that's going to get picked up.

 

the new detroit closer-in-waiting is joe jimenez, who went from A-ball to AAA this year and didn't allow a run for basically the entire first half. so he's really interesting. but between K-rod almost definitely still being there next year and the way the tigers have been taking it slow with jimenez (i know moving up 2 levels in one season doesn't seem "slow", but for a relief pitcher throwing as well as he was it actually seemed pretty conservative) he's much more of a 2018 closer prospect than 2017. (still a good name to know, if something happens to K-rod midyear he'll be in play)

Good info and they probably will take it slow.  Remember they kind of rushed Rondon, I seem to recall he made a pretty big jump the season prior to them talking about maybe taking over as closer as a rookie, which I think was 2-3 years ago.  

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Good call with Capps.  If he can anyway stay healthy, he can be an elite closer.  What about Milwaukee's situation?  Thornburg has been pitching great.  Will they let him start the 2017 season as the closer?

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6 hours ago, wily mo said:

 

k-rod has an option that's only $6M so figure that's going to get picked up.

 

the new detroit closer-in-waiting is joe jimenez, who went from A-ball to AAA this year and didn't allow a run for basically the entire first half. so he's really interesting. but between K-rod almost definitely still being there next year and the way the tigers have been taking it slow with jimenez (i know moving up 2 levels in one season doesn't seem "slow", but for a relief pitcher throwing as well as he was it actually seemed pretty conservative) he's much more of a 2018 closer prospect than 2017. (still a good name to know, if something happens to K-rod midyear he'll be in play)

Detroit fans were calling for Jimenez all season. Didn't even get the call when they expanded rosters AND need bullpen help. Word is he uses his fastball a ton and can get out minor league bats, but he doesn't really have a reliable 2nd pitch. From what I hear, I don't think there's a belief that he's ready, certainly not as the closer for a team that will have playoff aspirations. 

Agree with you, maybe 2018. Just sharing more info.

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What's everyone think about Betances for next year? Will he be the closer or will the Yankees try and get Chapman back? He's been up and down of late but his sample size of dominance is incredible.

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51 minutes ago, TribeFoo said:

What's everyone think about Betances for next year? Will he be the closer or will the Yankees try and get Chapman back? He's been up and down of late but his sample size of dominance is incredible.

That is an interesting one, never know what the Yankees will do.  Looking at their overall numbers, their relievers numbers after Betances have not been very good.  Girardi was a player and Cash was the GM for much of their glory run in the late 90's early 00's and I think that as good as Mo was, there was also a good supporting group that was a part of those teams in Nelson, Stanton and the like.  I mean they had Betances who was lights out in 2015 and Andrew Miller one of the best relievers in the game coming into this season AND still went out and got Chapman, so they feel that the bullpen is a key to their success, they will add I guess 1-2 arms to that pen, will it be a closer? Like Chapman or Jensen?  Maybe, wouldnt shock me or will it be more former closer who they bring in as set up to Betances.  

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I know I'm not the only one in a keeper league. Managers trade closers during the off-season. I was thinking it would be nice to have a thread where we could talk off-season closer stuff. I'll start with a question. 

 

Do you guys wait until after the winter meetings to make trades that involve closers? If not what if you trade for someone like Betances, but then the Yankees sign Chapman as their closer? 

 

Or do you only trade for closers who will have keeper value no matter if they are a closer or not? Or maybe you never keep closers because of this concern? 

 

Thoughts? 

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12 hours ago, lipitorkid said:

I'm also curious which teams do you think have the most uncertainties at the closer position. 

Given their closers are free agents about to cash in on mega free agent deals: the Cubs, Dodgers and Nats.  Of course they will also be the ones who will be the most aggressive to sign (or re-sign) a closer in the off season and have the loot to do it.

Three west coast teams also come to mind: Padres, Angels and A's.  Their situations are either fluid or their closers they ended the season with are not anything to write home about.  And add a fourth west coast team in the Giants who went from stud pen to dud pen as their once quality group got old on them. 

Also the Twins have an aging and oft-injured the last 2 years Glen Perkins set to return making who will close a bit of a puzzlement or at least awkward.  D-Backs's situation a bit wonky too.  Philly up for grabs.  And the big dumpster fire from last year (Cincy) could start all over again this year.

And though charges of domestic violence were dropped against him, MLB could still decide t suspend Jerurys Familia like they did Chapman last year for 30 games was it?  Familia's case disappeared rather quickly so it might be swept under the rug given that and the timing -- a long time yet until the decision has to be made -- and he may escape any suspensions but the Mets situation is worth monitoring until we know for sure.

Edited by The Big Bat Theory
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16 hours ago, lipitorkid said:

I know I'm not the only one in a keeper league. Managers trade closers during the off-season. I was thinking it would be nice to have a thread where we could talk off-season closer stuff. I'll start with a question. 

 

Do you guys wait until after the winter meetings to make trades that involve closers? If not what if you trade for someone like Betances, but then the Yankees sign Chapman as their closer? 

 

Or do you only trade for closers who will have keeper value no matter if they are a closer or not? Or maybe you never keep closers because of this concern? 

 

Thoughts? 

If its someone that wherever he lands is gonna be the closer, I dont worry about it too much (say trading for a Chapman or Jensen) but if its a ? mark, Im probably staying away or not giving up too much.  

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16 hours ago, lipitorkid said:

I'm also curious which teams do you think have the most uncertainties at the closer position. 

I think last year of the 30 teams, I think something ridiculous like 8 of the 30 didnt change closers last year during the season.  Its not a big number of teams right now that you feel 100% certain about, because even the ones who you think you might know, you could see a Spring Training flip happening pretty easily. 

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Yeah barring injuries the only teams with a stellar sure thing at closer starting 2017 are Baltimore with Zach Britton and the teams that get Chapman and Jensen and to a lesser extent, Melancon.  I should also add that Brad Ziegler is a FA and could end up as a cheap alternative for some team otherwise he will be back as a holds guy and veteran back-up closer-in-waiting.  Koji is in a similar situation.  If they manage his innings early on for holds outings he could step in as insurance and close almost anywhere.

Some others that should start out the season as closers with decent leashes would be in my opinion (and I will butcher a lot of the spellings) Alex Colombe with the Rays, Oh with St Louis, young Edwin Diaz with Seattle, K-Rod with the Tigers (though they are having a fire sale so whatever team he is with), a non-suspended Famlia with the Mets, Octtavio in Colorado, Ozuna in Toronto (barring the Jays getting one of the big three FA closers), and Wade Davis in KC of course.

Others seemed slotted in to start the season but maybe with a slightly shorter leash would be Thornburg in Milwaukee, Ramos in Miami, Watson in Pittsburgh, David Robertson with the White Sox (he could be trade bait too, Detroit isn't the only AL Central team having a fire sale), Giles with Houston, Dyson in Texas (they don't hesitate to make closer changes there when needed) and Kimbrell in Boston.  Okay that is my Red Sox prejudice speaking more than anything since Kimbrell was shaky last year but he had a pedigree and a big contract so he stayed in place.  But if Kimbrell wilts again in 2017 ... well they will make a move sooner than later if this is the second year it happens.

Bettances is the total wild card either going to be a closer or not depending on what the Yankees do regards one of the big three FA closers.

Cody Allen seems like he will continue to close with Andrew Miller remaining the super fireman for Cleveland.

Jim Johnson should start as closer for Atlanta and probably be traded at the deadline if he continues to perform like last year.

Just my opinions and, in the case of Kimbrell, more of a wish.

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Last year showed that the only really "safe" closer is Chapman. Will be interesting to see if guys begin getting the Andrew Miller treatment.  

 

Curious to see what the Rangers do

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2 hours ago, kidtwentytwo said:

Last year showed that the only really "safe" closer is Chapman. Will be interesting to see if guys begin getting the Andrew Miller treatment.  

 

Curious to see what the Rangers do

 

I don't think as many closers will be happy with it but we'll see. 

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5 hours ago, kidtwentytwo said:

Last year showed that the only really "safe" closer is Chapman. Will be interesting to see if guys begin getting the Andrew Miller treatment.  

 

Curious to see what the Rangers do

I'd say Zach Britton was too.

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5 minutes ago, schulni said:

Kenley Jansen as well.

 

Kinda...Dodgers had a deal for Chapman in place.  Would have been interesting if it didn't fall through

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I really think Cody Allen will get knocked a little too much this year. I think Miller may take a few saves but i think the fear of it will drop a closer that has great ratios typically into a fringier great/good closer category where I think he'll still end up near the top. Maybe I'm misreading either the market or the bullpen, but I just feel like Allen's Andrew Miller discount will make him worth the buy. 

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I'm in the Andrew Miller camp, especially in a keeper league. Looking at his numbers, since he arrived at Cleveland during the regular season (roughly 2 months) 26 games/ 29.3 innings and 46 Ks. Projected over a full season just based on that alone is that's 85-90 IP and 135-140 Ks. Millers performance during the playoffs shouldn't be projected, since the playoffs are a different animal, but it is worth noting that if Clevelands bullpen remains on par with 2016, and the projected starters in the rotation and injury history, that Miller will see more opportunities to get wins/ holds and saves. Even if C Allen remains a closer.

 

Aside from Chapman and Britton as closers, there really isn't much of a guarantee for closer. If the game is evolving to putting the best pitcher in during the most stressful time of the game, like all the sabermetric gurus are clamoring for, I'd say there's no better pitching resume for that roll than Miller. His starting pitching history and his 6ft 7in frame seem to hold up well under the workload he got since arriving to Cleveland. Depending on specific league scoring systems, I'd say Miller is worth gambling on as an RP1, the Indians will be in plenty of close games and chances are Miller will be right in the middle of it.

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