Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated December 2)
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: Brad Boxberger, Archie Bradley, Andrew Chafin, Steve Cishek, Tyler Clippard, Alex Colome, Jake Diekman, Rafael Dolis, Mychal Givens, Brad Hand, Greg Holland, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Ian Kennedy, Chris Martin, Collin McHugh, Andrew Miller, Adam Ottavino, Yusmeiro Petit, Hansel Robles.
NOTES: Garcia was signed to a two-year, $11 million contract on Dec. 1, though it seems unlikely that he'd pose an immediate threat to the job security of closer Romano, who had 13 saves and a 1.37 ERA in his final 18 appearances of 2021. (12/2)
NOTES: The White Sox exercised Kimbrel's $16 million 2022 option shortly after the conclusion of the season, with the expressed purpose of trading him to a team in need of a closer this offseason. In that event, Kendall Graveman, who was just signed Nov. 30, would slide into the primary setup role behind Hendriks. (12/2)
NOTES: Neris' past closer experience might put him in the lead for eighth-inning duties setting up Pressly, though Ryne Stanek will also be in that mix come spring training. (12/2) ... The Angels re-signed Iglesias to a four-year, $58 million contract on Dec. 1, locking him -- performance- and health-willing -- into their closer role through 2025. (12/2) ... The Mariners have a lot of closer-capable relievers in their 2021 mix, as behind Steckenrider and Sewald are Diego Castillo, who closed successfully at times previously for the Rays, Ken Giles, the former closer who should return from Tommy John surgery in 2022, and Andres Munoz, the dark horse candidate who just inked a four-year contract extension including three option years. (12/2)
NOTES: Judging by the $10 million they'll pay him in his new contract for 2022, the Phillies must regard Knebel the favorite to begin the season as their closer. (12/2)
NOTES: You'll notice that Alex Reyes isn't listed among the Cardinals' closer candidates, but that's primarily because the team is likely to take a look at him in a starter's role to begin spring training. That is apparently also the case for Jordan Hicks, who could ultimately be another late-inning option. (12/2)
NOTES: The Diamondbacks signed Melancon, the majors' leader in saves in 2021, to a two-year contract with a 2024 mutual option on Dec. 1. He immediately becomes the team's full-time closer. (12/2) ... It's unclear whether the Dodgers will seriously pursue re-signing free agent Kenley Jansen, but if he departs, Treinen is the most logical ninth-inning replacement on the roster. Recently added Hudson and Brusdar Graterol could also be in the mix if the team goes the committee route. (12/2) ... Since losing Mark Melancon via free agency, the Pafres have stocked up on late-inning relief candidates, signing Garcia and Robert Suarez most notably. They'll join Johnson, Craig Stammen and perhaps even Dinelson Lamet in a probable spring training battle for closer duties. (12/2)