Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated January 12)
The chart below breaks down all 30 major-league teams' bullpens in terms of relievers' proximity to the closer role, not their overall fantasy value. Teams are broken down by division.
"CLOSER" is either that team's officially designated closer, or the pitcher most likely to get the team's next save chance. "NEXT IN LINE" is the pitcher next-most likely to take over if something happens to the closer, or the one who might get any save chances on the closer's nights off. "NOTES" beneath each division's chart provide detail on teams' closer situations that might have an unusual wrinkle, like an injury to the typical closer requiring a short term fill-in, or a committee situation.
FREE AGENTS: Anthony Bass, Steve Cishek, Tyler Clippard, Alex Colome, Sean Doolittle, Ken Giles, Shane Greene, Yoshihisa Hirano, Jeremy Jeffress, Keone Kela, Brandon Kintzler, Mark Melancon, Roberto Osuna, Trevor Rosenthal, Joakim Soria, Tony Watson, Brandon Workman, Kirby Yates.
NOTES: Cesar Valdez recorded each of the Orioles' three September saves, but as a 35-year-old changeup artist, he doesn't seem to fit the "closer" profile. He might begin spring training the de facto finisher, but Harvey and Tate are considered more of the future from this bullpen, and Shawn Armstrong could factor into the late-inning mix. (10/27) ... Manager Alex Cora said in December that, as things currently stand, Barnes would be his closer to begin the 2021 season. The team could also seek relief help and/or a higher-tier closer, but Barnes and Hernandez seem like their strongest two in-house choices. (1/6) ... The Rays utilized a closer-by-committee for the entirety of the 2020 season, though Castillo seemed to earn the ninth more often than Anderson during the postseason. Expect a similar approach in 2021, with Pete Fairbanks also involved. (10/27) ... Ken Giles' free agency leaves the Blue Jays faced with a decision: Turn the closer role over to Romano, bring Giles back or seek another free agent? Romano had two saves, three holds and a 1.69 ERA in 11 appearances before getting hurt, so he's the most logical choice. (10/27)
NOTES: Hendriks, who had 39 saves and a major league-leading 1.66 ERA the past two seasons combined (minimum 70 innings), was signed Jan. 12 presumably to take over the White Sox's full-time closer duties. Bummer will probably begin 2021 in the primary setup role, with Evan Marshall, Jace Fry, Matt Foster and potentially Garrett Crochet competing for setup work. (1/12) ... With the news that the Indians placed Brad Hand on outright waivers, a signal that they intend to decline his $10 million option for 2021, Karinchak appears the favorite to take over as the team's closer in 2021. (10/30) ... Garcia excelled late last season, notching four saves with four holds and a 0.84 ERA in his final 14 appearances, putting him the front of a potential spring training competition. Farmer could face competition from Jose Cisnero or Gregory Soto for the setup duties, and Joe Jimenez will be in the hunt for a late-inning role during the spring. (10/27) ... Holland re-signed with the Royals on Dec. 15, and is the most likely Opening Day closer. Barlow, Jesse Hahn and Josh Staumont could be considered competitors for the role, however, otherwise they'll serve as setup men. (12/15) ... The Twins declined Sergio Romo's $5 million option, and while he might ultimately re-sign with the team at a lower rate to again serve in a closer partnership with Rogers, Duffey could factor as a potential replacement if the team decides to fill the spot from within. The team also signed Hansel Robles for late-inning depth. (1/6)
NOTES: With Osuna having been placed on outright waivers following the season, Pressly appears the Astros' most likely closer come Opening Day. Paredes and Blake Taylor could also factor into the late innings, and the team could look to add relief help. (12/15) ... Iglesias, who was acquired from the Reds on Dec. 7, is expected to serve as the Angels' closer. (12/15) ... Liam Hendriks is the top closer on the 2020-21 free agent market and setup man Joakim Soria is a free agent as well, leaving Diekman the top choice to close if the Athletics don't make an offseason move. Weems and Lou Trivino could also be spring training candidates, and a closer-by-committee is a possibility. (10/27) ... Montero, who was acquired from the Rangers on Dec. 15, seems the most likely Mariners closer for now, though the team is expected to add more help via free agency or trades. Ramirez, Anthony Misiewicz and Kendall Graveman are all expected to be on the roster as setup options. (12/15) ... Leclerc, who missed most of the 2020 season with a shoulder injury, is expected to be ready for spring training and should claim the closer role following the December trade of Rafael Montero. Hernandez could compete with Leclerc for the role, however, or Hernandez could serve as the primary setup man. (12/15)
NOTES: Mark Melancon and Shane Greene are free agents, so the Braves' most experienced closer candidate is ex-Giants closer Smith. Martin and A.J. Minter, who had a 2.60 ERA and 31.5% strikeout rate in 27 appearances combined between the regular season and postseason, could also compete for the job if the team doesn't bring in free agent help. (10/27) ... The Marlins didn't pick up Brandon Kintzler's option, but they're expected to address the bullpen via free agency. For now, Garcia, Hoyt and Richard Bleier are the most likely late-inning options on the roster. (12/15) ... Brandon Workman is a free agent, and with the Phillies unlikely to add payroll this winter, Neris seems destined to begin 2021 as the team's closer. If the team goes in the committee direction, Alvarado, Connor Brogdon, David Phelps and Adam Morgan could also be involved. (1/6) ... Hudson, who finished the year in the closer role, seems likely to begin 2021 there. Rainey, however, could push for those duties if he proves fully healthy during spring training, having posted a 3.08 ERA and 38.9% strikeout rate in 51 appearances since the 2019 All-Star break. (10/27)
NOTES: Kimbrel is signed through 2021 for $16 million and, after a poor start to the 2020 season, finished with eight scoreless appearances of 13 strikeouts compared to zero walks in September. He's the most logical choice to close on the current roster with Jeremy Jeffress a free agent. (10/27) ... Following the trade of Raisel Iglesias in December, the Reds seemed likely to have a closer competition during spring training. Sims, Garrett and Michael Lorenzen are the three most logical candidates. (12/15) ... Rodriguez, who had 10 scoreless appearances in September and was 4-of-5 converting saves for the season, should begin 2021 in the closer role, now that Keona Kela is a free agent. Prospects Blake Cederlind and Nick Mears could represent future closers. (10/27) ... Just as they did to begin 2020, the Cardinals should have an open competition for their closer role during spring training. Reyes concluded the season in the role, but the team could also try Jordan Hicks, who opted out in 2020, Gallegos, Ryan Helsley and perhaps even Carlos Martinez. (10/27)
NOTES: Crichton was a perfect 5-of-5 converting saves with seven scoreless appearances to conclude the season, and while the team could pursue a closer via free agency, it seems likely he'll begin spring training in the lead for the role. (10/27) ... Oberg missed the entire 2020 with a back issue and blood clots in his right arm, but he's expected to be ready for spring training and should be the favorite to close for the team. Bard and Tyler Kinley are two other intriguing candidates, should Oberg be unable to go. (10/27) ... Dodgers manager Dave Roberts avoided Jansen in Games 5 and 6 of the World Series, signaling declining trust in the right-hander's dropping velocity and a shift towards a closer-by-committee. The re-signing of Treinen in January gave Roberts a good alternative, if needed. Brusdar Graterol could also factor into the closer picture at some future point. (1/6) ... Trevor Rosenthal and Kirby Yates are free agents, so the Padres' closer role currently appears set for a Pomeranz-Pagan-Austin Adams spring training battle. The team might bring back Rosenthal, however, and it's possible that they could utilize a committee otherwise. (10/27) ... Giants manager Gabe Kapler prefers a closer-by-committee, but if Moronta, who missed the 2020 season following shoulder surgery, is healthy in time for spring training, he could emerge as the go-to option in the ninth. Rogers, Sam Coonrod, Shaun Anderson and Jarlin Garcia should all be involved in any competition. (10/27)