Fantasy Baseball: 2010 AL Closer Dynasty/Keeper Rankings


1. Mariano Rivera- Another year older, another year of a sub 2.00 ERA. I do think Mo's age will catch up with him one day, whether it be in the form of injury or inefective-itis, but I don't think that will be 2010. I think Rivera will have another season of 35+ saves and excellent peripherals.

2. Joe Nathan- Had a career high 47 saves and while he had the highest ERA in 4 years, a 2.10, isn't really all that bad. Look for an ERA around 2 with 35+ saves again and a K/9 possibly hovering over 10.

3. Jonathan Papelbon- Numbers close to career averages except a BB/9 of over 3, which is the highest since he'd been put in the closer role. Boston fans seem fed up with him and the Sox have a closer in waiting in Daniel Bard. Don't be surprised to hear Papelbon's name floated in trade rumors.

4. Joakim Soria- Posted the highest K/9 in his career and saved 30 games while missing time in 2009. Expect another season with peripherals hovering in the same area but don't be surprised to see another year with a low save total.

5. David Aardsma- Career highs across the board, including innings pitched. This will be the first time Aardsma has played back to back seasons in the same city, which could help his cause extremely and maybe provide the consistency needed.

6. Brian Fuentes- Had the most saves in baseball in 2009, but had a large drop in K/9 and a spike in whip (1.40 with a career of 1.26) He may get you a high total, but it may not be pretty.

7. Andrew Bailey- Logged 83.1 innings as a rookie so you can definitely see a regression. A regression could be a jump in whip and ERA, but expect the K's to be there.

8. J.P. Howell/Other- The closer situation in Tampa is a bit sketchy, but I don't feel confident with any of the closers left on this list, so Howell gets this by default. Keep in mind that the Rays could go out and get a closer in free agency or trade (hint: Billy Wagner.) If they do, that person would likely be number eight still.

9. Frank Francisco- Spent many weeks on the DL in the 2009 season, and had an ERA floating on the high end of the 3's. Possibly due to the injuries. I'm fine taking a closer on a solid offensive team this late.

10. Bobby Jenks/Matt Thornton/Other- Whispers have been spreading about Kenny Williams sending a letter mentioning his veterans being available in trades and Jenks was fairly disappointing in 2009. Thornton has the stuff to be a nasty closer and 2010 could be the season it happens.

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