Fantasy Baseball: Early AL Closer Watch.

We've seen a lot of trade rumors and trade analysis as of late and there really hasn't been any mention of the many teams with closer situations. We will check back in after a few months and see if anything has changed, but this is how things are looking as of now.

AL East

  • Yankees- I think we all know this answer. Mo' should be one of the top closers in the game again. One day, he may fall apart, but for a player of his caliber, he may retire before than happens. Next in line: Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Mark Melancon.
  • Red Sox- Jonathan Papelbon. In 2009, Papelbon posted a 1.85 ERA, which would lead you to believe he had a successful season. If you look at the peripheral stats, you'd see that Papelbon had an FIP of 3.05 and while he kept his K/9 above 10, he posted a BB/9 over 3 for the first time since his rookie season where he threw only 34 big league innings. I wouldn't be surprised to see Papelbon traded with the closer in waiting in Daniel Bard likely getting more work in the later innings. Next in line: Daniel Bard, Hideki Okajima, Manny Delcarmen.
  • Orioles- Mike Gonzalez. The Orioles signed Gonzalez to be their closer and I can't really see anyone challenging him for the job this year. Next in line: Jim Johnson, Kam Mikolio.
  • Blue Jays- Jason Frasor. While there is nothing concrete in Toronto, I think Frasor will be the guy in 2010. Frasor saved 11 games in 2009 and ended the season with an FIP of 2.99 and a K/BB of 3.50. I think if the season were to begin today, Frasor would be the man, but he could lose it fairly easily. Next in line: Scott Downs, Jeremy Accardo.
  • Rays- Rafael Soriano. The Rays either didn't seem confident or have other plans for J.P Howell in 2010. After trading prospect Jesse Chavez to Atlanta, the Rays are set at closer with Soriano. If he were to get hurt (which he does somewhat often) I would think Wheeler is the next on the list with Howell being the late inning lefty. Next in line: Dan Wheeler, J.P. Howell and Grant Balfour.

AL Central

AL West

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