I admit that I got a bit lucky. But sometimes you make your own luck by being well prepared. I didn't want to waste early picks on closers, as I'd rather use them to bolster my offense. I targeted guys like Izzy, Benitez, F. Cordero, Dotel, Nathan, Rhodes, Guardado and others who I thought would be available in the 8th-12th rounds. My goal was to get at least two of them, and then pick up a bunch of lower-tier closers near the end of the draft. My hope was that one of Graves, Herges and Mesa would pan out. I figured that with three closers from the draft plus one off the FA (thanks to the Closer Watch here at the Cafe) I'd be able to land in the top 3 in saves.
It's not just luck. I'm up on 2nd place by almost 40 saves! Keep in mind, too, that I traded away Mesa after he gave me 2 saves, and I traded away Isringhausen after he gave me 7 saves. That's 34 saves that I traded away! I also was very strategic in who I traded saves to, trying to help teams pass my biggest competitors. It's worked great.
The strategy can work for you too next year. Let others grab Gagne in the 2nd, and Foulke, Rivera, Wagner by the 5th (or whatever). Identify a list of solid second-tier closers to draft in the 8th-12th rounds. Also identify a list of potential saves that will be available in the late rounds. Most importantly, pay attention to the Closer Watch here at the Cafe! This will help you ID the closers, and general talk around the Cafe will help you identify the right players. Keep on the ball throughout the season, and don't be afraid to jump on the Valverdes and C. Corderos when other owners have given up on them.
Thanks to the Cafe for all the help! I couldn't have done it without you!
"The game has a cleanness. If you do a good job, the numbers say so. You don't have to ask anyone or play politics. You don't have to wait for the reviews." - Sandy Koufax