FanPost

It's a Bad Year to be a Free Agent Closer, but a Good Year if You're Looking for One

It's almost impossible to predict what Alex Anthopoulos is going to do with his roster at any given moment.  It seems like all his moves come out of completely nowhere.  However, I'd be willing to bet almost anything that he's going to sign a proven closer this Winter.  That may or may not be a good thing.  I'm not a huge fan of the "closer" concept.  That being said, 60-70 innings of good pitching can't be a bad thing.  And if they're going to spend money on a closer, this might be a good year to do so.

The depth of high quality relievers is incredible this offseason.  Also, the Yankees are set, I'd be surprised if the Red Sox would overpay a closer this year, and I doubt there are that many other teams willing to break the bank on a closer.  That could lead to some pretty good deals this Winter.  The Jays themselves have a number of good  low cost relievers (Janssen, Carreno, Litsch, Perez, Villanueva, Cecil?).  They could afford to add one or two elite arms to anchor the bullpen.

Below is the list of FA relievers, according to Cot's.  I bolded those that could potentially "close" out games.

Relief Pitchers
Danys Baez PHI
Miguel Batista STL
Heath Bell SD
Blaine Boyer
Jonathan Broxton LAD
Shawn Camp TOR
Matt Capps MIN
Todd Coffey MIL
Clay Condrey MIN
Francisco Cordero CIN *
Lance Cormier TB
Juan Cruz TB
Octavio Dotel STL *
Kyle Farnsworth TB *
Randy Flores NYY
Frank Francisco TOR
Ryan Franklin STL
Chad Gaudin WAS
Mike Gonzalez TEX
John Grabow CHC
LaTroy Hawkins MIL
Brad Lidge PHI *
Scott Linebrink ATL
Javier Lopez SF
Ryan Madson PHI
Damaso Marte NYY *
Sergio Mitre NYY
Joe Nathan MIN *
Hideki Okajima BOS
Darren Oliver TEX
Jonathan Papelbon BOS
Joel Peralta TB
Chad Qualls SD *
Jon Rauch TOR *
Chris Ray TEX
Dennys Reyes BOS
Arthur Rhodes TEX *
Fernando Rodney LAA
Francisco Rodriguez MIL
George Sherrill ATL
Rafael Soriano NYY (may opt out)
Brian Tallet TOR
Koji Uehara TEX *
Jose Valverde DET
Tyler Walker WAS
Kerry Wood CHC
Jamey Wright SEA
Michael Wuertz OAK
Joel Zumaya DET

There are also some decent trade options out there, but why bother giving up something in a trade, with a market like this.  A few unrelated observations:  I can't remember if Shawn Camp reached type B status, but even if he did, I can't see him being offered arbitration.  I'm also looking forward to seeing what the Rays are going to do.  They are losing quite a few quality relievers.

Now discuss...

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