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Closer Rankings: The trades came early

Huston Street and Joakim Soria both moved well before the deadline. Is there anything left to happen?

Lisa Blumenfeld

Huston Street got traded to the Angels, and Joakim Soria got traded to the Tigers. In response, I said this:

I put that here for two reasons: First, this week's Closer Rankings column is Twitter Week 2, as I've scoured Twitter to find what the world is saying about these guys. And second, because I'm not totally sure I was right when I said that and I want to revisit it.

Yes, Street moving to the Angels bumped Joe Smith from "closer" to "only if Street gets hurt." It bumped Jason Grilli to "never mind." And it bumped Joaquin Benoit from setup guy to closer. Joakim Soria heading to Detroit gave Neftali Feliz a closer job again. Sure, there's some question about how many save chances Soria will get as compared to Joe Nathan, but by and large, these situations were pretty clear.

And ... this might be it, yeah? Unless something crazy happens, it's hard for me to find any other team that is even moderately likely to deal for a closer before the trading deadline. With the possible exceptions of the Giants (Sergio Romo's out, and Santiago Casilla isn't seen as a capital-C closer), Brewers (very quietly, Francisco Rodriguez has been pretty rough of late, with a 4.44 ERA over the last two months), and Blue Jays (I'm still a Casey Janssen believer, but between illness and partial ineffectiveness, he's not been inspiring), no contender has much of a closer need. And, as you probably guessed from what I wrote in that last sentence, it's a stretch to find anyone.

Meanwhile, Street and Soria were the obvious trade targets, and both went early. Who's left? Jonathan Papelbon, sure, but there's such a contract there that the best I can see is him going to the Dodgers as a "you're taking his salary, too" throw-in on a Cliff Lee deal, and even that seems like a bridge too far even for Los Angeles. So you have Chad Qualls, who the Astros are barely using for saves now, and Benoit. I could still see both going somewhere and becoming a setup man, but ultimately, the big moves have been made. We might be done.

So here are the closer rankings for this week. We've got one more week of just the "right-now" rankings, with the "rest-of-season" rankings returning next week, after the trading deadline.

Right-Now Rankings

Rank Player Team Last Week Tweets
1 Aroldis Chapman CIN 1
2 Craig Kimbrel ATL 2
3 Greg Holland KAN 3
4 Koji Uehara BOS 4
5 David Robertson NYY 5
6 Kenley Jansen LAD 6
7 Glen Perkins MIN 7
8 Sean Doolittle OAK 11
9 Huston Street LAA 10
10 Mark Melancon PIT 13
11 Jonathan Papelbon PHI 9
12 Rafael Soriano WAS 8
13 Zach Britton BAL 15
14 Steve Cishek MIA 16
15 Cody Allen CLE 19
16 Jake McGee TAM 23
17 Joaquin Benoit SDP NR
18 Casey Janssen TOR 12
19 Santiago Casilla SFG 24
20 Trevor Rosenthal SLC 21
21 Fernando Rodney SEA 17
22 Francisco Rodriguez MIL 18
23 Addison Reed ARI 26
24 Joe Nathan DET 27
25 Neftali Feliz TEX NR
26 LaTroy Hawkins COL 22
27 Joakim Soria DET 14
28 Jenrry Mejia NYM 28
29 Hector Rondon CHC 30
30 Chad Qualls HOU 25