A look at who is going to be getting save opportunities division by division. Average Draft Position courtesy of CBSSportsline.com.
Boston: Jonathan Papelbon is downplaying concerns over his arm. (ADP: 53.74) New York: Mariano Rivera is locked and ready to go. (ADP: 82.57) Tampa Bay: Troy Percival has looked very strong this spring coming off an injury shortened season. Take him late, but expect a trip or two to the DL. (ADP: 209.87) Toronto: B.J. Ryan is the man in for the Blue Jays. His poor spring might be a bit concerning but he is a very solid 2nd closer, not so much as your one. (ADP: 141.78) Baltimore: George Sherrill (ADP: 222.29) has looked horrible this spring and has even been quoted as saying he wouldn’t mind if Chris Ray (ADP: 231.02) started the season as the closer. Avoid both unless you are really digging for saves.
Chicago: Bobby Jenks is the big man for Ozzie. Lower end #1 closer, great #2. (ADP: 135.99) Cleveland: Kerry Wood is going one closer after Jenks in most drafts. I might take him ahead of Jenks but wouldn’t fault anybody for going the other way. Be sure to have a good back-up, Wood already has been injured. (ADP: 137.08) Kansas City: Joakim Soria is a top 5 closer. If Kansas City is as improved as Peter Gammons is saying…..more save opps! (ADP: 119.16) Detroit: Joel Zumaya is on his way to the DL. Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon (ADP: 230.60) are stinking it up…..avoid everybody in Detroit. Minnesota: Joe Nathan is money. Has a case to be the first closer taken. (ADP: 76.12)
Los Angeles: I like Brian Fuentes this year, I like him a lot. Yahoo.com has concerns with his low velocity this spring, but I’m not. The Angels’ style of play is condusive to close games and lots of save opps for Fuentes. (ADP: 129.22) Texas: Frank Francisco is a sleeper, draft him as your 2nd closer and watch him outperform the 10 closers taken right before him. He’s going far too late. (ADP: 197.58) Seattle: Brandon Morrow is being moved to the bullpen and immediately jumps up to a top 15 closer. Only injuries are holding him back from being a top 6 closer. (ADP: 146.11) Oakland: Joey Devine (ADP: 199.10) and Brad Ziegler (ADP: 219.04) are going to split closer duties to start the season. Devine has the better stuff and will most likely be the one to take the job full-time at some point this season.
New York: KRod is ready to take the big apple by storm. His celebratory style is going to win the fans over so long he converts the majority of his early season save attempts. The Phillies fans are going to HATE Rodriguez. (ADP: 47.53) Philadelphia: Brad Lidge is closing in on the consective save record after converting every save last season. Should be the 5th or 6th closer taken. (ADP: 85.55) Atlanta: Mike Gonzalez (ADP: 183.81) appears to have the job over Rafeal Soriano. But his velocity issues this spring are concerning. Nothing more than a back-up closer or a 2nd closer in a deep league. Florida: Matt Lindstrom (ADP: 203.30) still hopes to be ready by opening day after his WBC injury. Leo Nunez will get any save opps if Lindstorm is not ready but Lindstrom is the man when he is back. Washington: Joel Hanrahan is going after guys on the DL, guys who are pushing 50 years young….don’t make that mistake. He has no competition and the Nationals improved offense may keep them in more games this year….if their pitching hasn’t yet give up 10 runs. (ADP: 217.17)
Chicago: The Cubs have named Kevin Gregg (ADP: 199.92) the team’s closer over Carlos Marmol (ADP: 128.70) ruining a number of Fantasy team’s draft. You had to see this coming….Sweet Lou loves the veterans. Marmol will be the closer by July 1st…..mark it dude. Cincinnati: Francisco Cordero is a quality #1 closer. Nothing else to say. (ADP: 159.70) Pittsuburgh: Matt Capps is underrated. He is going after Chad Qualls, Trevor Hoffman and Huston Street in some drafts….why I do not know. (ADP: 188.72) Houston: Jose Valverde is one of the last #1 closers on the board. He, along with Broxton, should close out the run of top end closers. (ADP: 132.66) Milwaukee: Trevor Hoffman (ADP: 186.38) is going to start the year on the DL. Carlos Villanueva will get the saves to start the season. St. Louis: Chris Perez (ADP: 229.78) was sent down to AAA earlier today leaving Jason Motte (ADP: 225.44) appears to have won the job but Ryan Franklin could get some save opps.
Los Angeles: Jonathan Broxton should be one of the top closers in the game for the next 5 years. Feel comfortable with him as your first closer. (ADP: 122.75) San Francisco: Brian Wilson has a near 5 ERA last season but is getting plenty of love from the fantasy world. The Giants are improved this year which may open up some vital save opps for Wilson. (ADP: 140.00) Colorado: The Rockies look to be playing it smart and showcasing Huston Street (ADP: 188.01) for trade bait later in the season. Street will start the year as the closer over Manny Corpas (ADP: 242.97). San Diego: Heath Bell is the closer but how many save opps is he going to get in San Diego. They’ll be lucky to win 60 games this year. (ADP: 201.40) Arizona: Chad Qualls excelled in the closer role late last season and will be the closer in the desert to start the season. Be careful though…he is one of those guys who was underrated in February but has swung to the overrated category rather quickly. (ADP: 183.36)