All you really need from a closer is his saves. The WHIP and ERA, so what!? Ks, whatever.
You just need saves, one category out of ten standard categories. Why pay for a guy that effects only 1/10 of your categories. Trying to find out who will rack up the most saves for you can be easy. Other cases can be hard.
Baltimore Orioles- We all got a glimpse of Jim Johnson's ninth inning with his 7 September saves. However, his 5 summer blown saves were not very appealing for his save rate until he was totally given the job come September. Kevin Gregg on the other hand blew seven saves with the job for most of the year while holding a 4+ ERA and losing his job in September. Gregg is not the guy I'd want pitching my 9th inning and it looks like the Orioles feel the same.
Chicago White Sox- No one likes to return to someone who lost their job as bad as Thornton. Four of his first five appearances were blown saves. It is time for change. Small sample size but, Addison Reed struck out 12, walked 1, in 7 and a third innings of work. Not as strikeout heavy as Kimbrel but, he may emerge the closer come May. I will plan on drafting Reed as the closer after someone over values Thornton just because their draft sheet says so.
Houston Astros- Wait two weeks in, take whoever has the job then and be ready to hover over the waiver wire. In a standard league, no one is going to draft Lopez or Carpenter
Los Angeles Dodgers- You've heard this many times before, Jansen has the stuff but Guerra has the job. My pick: Jansen, injuries are the only risk. He could be this years Craig Kimbrel.
New York Mets- Instead of solving the Rauch/Francisco problem, the Blue Jays just gave it to the Mets. Francisco will be the guy but if you take him be ready to snatch up Rauch if Francisco were to get hurt or start to struggle.
Oakland Athletics- This bullpen faked it through last season without Bailey and now they must get though a full year. I see several job switches between Balfour and Fuentes. Balfour should start with the job pending a spring fallout and I believe he gets more saves than Fuentes in the end.
St. Louis Cardinals- Not for nothing but World Series closers aren't that reliable the year after their postseason run. Brian Wilson and Brad Lidge are just a few of the guys that couldn't handle the following season.
Toronto Blue Jays- Santos may have the job for now, but Cordero is more proven with 37 saves last year and a 2.45 ERA. He may find himself with the job if Santos can't handle the Canadian 9th Inning
I know you disagree so let's here it.