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Postby Kwaziwampo » Fri Dec 05, 2003 5:33 am

This past year was not a good year for closers. More lost their jobs than any year in recent history. This lead to some great pick-ups mid-season for those who were lucky.
From Dejan to Kolb, Escobar to Politte, Urbina to Cordero, and everything but the kitchen sink (ie Eldred) to Izzy, it was hectic as a 3 legged cat on an ice patch.
That said, who does everyone see sneaking up as last year? Kolb looked dominant toward the end of the year. Is Looper the closer once Urbina goes to the Mets? Who saves for RJ/Webb if Mantei goes? Anyone who had MacDougal towards the end of the year might think twice about drafting him. Let's not even bring up any Danny's...whether Baez, or Graves.
Which Wagner will do better long term?
So many questions...now let's hear some opinions...
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Postby LBJackal » Fri Dec 05, 2003 6:00 am

Sneaking up:

Chad Cordero, Montreal
Ryan Wagner, Cincinatti
Juan Rincon, Minnesota (Not the closer from day one, but watch out for him)
Jeremy Affedlt, KC
Brad Lidge, Houston (Could take over for Dotel IMO)
Raffy Soriano, Seattle (Depends on if they want him to be a starter, and if Sasaki remains in Seattle)

Yes, Looper will probably be the closer if Urbina leaves. He was the closer partially when Urbina was there, so it seems obvious to me.

Valverde will close for 'zona if Mantei leaves (and maybe even if he doesn't)

MacDougal will remain the closer I think, but if not, Affeldt should get the job. It's hard not to give a guy who throws as hard as MacDougal the closers job, but it could happen.

Baez is history, faggettabout'im (Except when Torii Hunter threw the ball at him; I'll never forget that :-D )

Graves might be decent in Cinci. If he's not though, Ryan Wagner looks to be a very good replacement.

And by longterm do you mean form now on, or over their entire career? Because Billy is one of the best ever, you can't even begin to compare Ryan with him.
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Postby Madison » Fri Dec 05, 2003 12:01 pm

Nice post LBJackal. ;-D

Stick with us here at the Cafe' Kwaziwampo, and you will beat everyone to the free agent market ;-) . None of the guys you mentioned got past our radar last year :-) . Personally, I told everyone over a month before it happened to grab Cordero because Urbina was going to be traded. :-)
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Postby Area51's » Fri Dec 05, 2003 12:47 pm

[quote="LBJackal"]Sneaking up:





Valverde will close for 'zona if Mantei leaves (and maybe even if he doesn't)

quote]


Excellent point LBJ, Valverde was lights out last year, and Mantei faces a possible triple threat of leaving; control problems, injury-prone, and Zona wants to deal his contract.
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Closers...

Postby Kwaziwampo » Sat Dec 06, 2003 4:26 am

Jackal...excellent post. I DEFINITELY mean from now on, with Wagner's age. He's been amazing since day one, and will continue to do so, now in a bigger park.
What are your thoughts on Oakland and CWS? Foulke is all but gone.
This brings up a larger point. We're in the middle of a keeper draft, and I just can't bring myself to take a reliever. With so much up the air, once you get past the big guys, there's junk.
In a 5x5 saves have always been unimportant. Draft someone who you know is going to be a closer, and just pick guys up after that.
Gagne went in the 2nd round of our draft, and it just seems so unjustifyable. Now I know he drops ERA down a bit, but one grand slam knocks his ERA up a bunch of points at any point during the year.
Seems closers really only help in saves, and no where else. More importanly, drafting them seems a bit of a risk. My philosophy has always been take lineup guys, then SP's, and if a solid (gagne, B. Wager, Foulke) is available go for it, otherwise don't bother.
Only saying this in the context of a keeper league.
Always interested in other's opinions...
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Postby bell » Sat Dec 06, 2003 4:45 am

Mantei's control was actually quite good this past season compared to previous years. I think a lot of that had to do with the development of a nasty curve (good neutralizer). To me it's looking more and more likely Mantei will remain the closer w/Valverde as set-up man. I think Mantei's combination of previous health issues and current contract has dampened his value this off-season compared to other available closers. He may be more of a midseason trade.

Are there any other possible suitors out there besides Boston and the Mets that could handle a good portion of his contract, if not all, at this moment?
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Postby LBJackal » Sat Dec 06, 2003 5:48 am

For the White Sox, Damaso Marte should be a very good option. He was awesome last year as a setupman/closer, but now the job should be his since Flash Gordon is gone. He has a great ERA/WHIP, excellent K's, and the job is his.

As for Oakland, I'd assume Chad Bradford, but don't expect too much. Over the past two seasons as a setup man he had an ERA over 3, which isn't great. He also doesn't strike out a lot of batters. I wouldn't draft a relief pitcher from Oakland until more is learned about the situation.

For the best bets at getting good closers for a cheap price, aim for:

Damaso Marte, David Riske, and Francisco Cordero. None of these guys were full time closers last year so they shouldn't be high on draft lists, yet they should all be very effective. I'd especially focus on the first two. Riske is probably the biggest sleeper closer, since a lot of people think Wickman will close in Cleveland. I doubt it though.
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Postby DK » Sat Dec 06, 2003 12:20 pm

LBJackal wrote:For the White Sox, Damaso Marte should be a very good option. He was awesome last year as a setupman/closer, but now the job should be his since Flash Gordon is gone. He has a great ERA/WHIP, excellent K's, and the job is his.

As for Oakland, I'd assume Chad Bradford, but don't expect too much. Over the past two seasons as a setup man he had an ERA over 3, which isn't great. He also doesn't strike out a lot of batters. I wouldn't draft a relief pitcher from Oakland until more is learned about the situation.

For the best bets at getting good closers for a cheap price, aim for:

Damaso Marte, David Riske, and Francisco Cordero. None of these guys were full time closers last year so they shouldn't be high on draft lists, yet they should all be very effective. I'd especially focus on the first two. Riske is probably the biggest sleeper closer, since a lot of people think Wickman will close in Cleveland. I doubt it though.


Cordero should be the best. Riske will be marginal, and I don't trust Marte all that much.
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Postby j_d_mcnugent » Sat Dec 06, 2003 2:12 pm

i dont know how likely it is but it is possible that hawkins will take over for borowski if he falters. they will start the season with borowski as closer and keep going with him as long as he pitches well. but looking at hawkins contract (incentives for saves) it seems that either he or the cubs (or both of them) think he will be grabbing some saves before the contract is over.

rotoworld says to keep an eye on chad fox should he re-sign with the marlins.

LATEST NEWS - December 6 - Previous News
The Marlins hope to have Chad Fox signed today after improving their offer to the reliever from $750,000 to $1 million over one season. The Cardinals, Astros and Rangers reportedly are offering similar amounts, and the Orioles have a two-year deal on the table. If Fox stays with Florida, there's some chance he could take over as the team's closer.
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Postby bell » Sat Dec 06, 2003 2:30 pm

LBJackal wrote:As for Oakland, I'd assume Chad Bradford, but don't expect too much. Over the past two seasons as a setup man he had an ERA over 3, which isn't great. He also doesn't strike out a lot of batters. I wouldn't draft a relief pitcher from Oakland until more is learned about the situation.

If Oakland fails to retain Foulke, I would hope that they would find a better solution than Bradford for their closer. Maybe it's just me...
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