Fantasy Baseball Closer Chart (last updated August 9)
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.
NOTES: The deadline-day deal of Jorge Lopez, who had a team-leading 19 saves, presumably leaves the Orioles' closer role in the capable hands of Bautista. The right-hander filled in for Lopez briefly earlier in the year, and has a 1.35 ERA while striking out 12-of-21 hitters since the All-Star break. (8/2) ... Whitlock has been outstanding since the All-Star break, converting two of the Red Sox's three successful saves with a 1.29 ERA in four appearances. This might remain a bit of a partnership, but Whitlock is the reliever to roster between these two. (8/2) ... Rays manager Kevin Cash tends to utilize a closer-by-committee, with five different relievers having recorded saves since July 13 and nine different relievers for the season. Adam and Poche continue to get the most high-leverage work, but Brooks Raley is also heavily involved and the team could also turn to Jalen Beeks, Pete Fairbanks or Ryan Thompson in the ninth. (7/28)
NOTES: The deadline-day trade of Michael Fulmer opens up the primary setup role to a likely competition. Jimenez, Jose Cisnero and Will Vest might all get opportunities. (8/2) ... The Twins added Lopez on deadline day, giving them one of the league's most effective relievers so far in 2022, as the right-hander had 19 saves and a 1.68 ERA over 44 appearances for the Orioles. While he might step right in as the Twins' closer, manager Rocco Baldelli does seem to prefer a committee approach to the ninth inning, meaning Duran, Tyler Duffey and perhaps even Emilio Pagan could still factor into the mix. (8/2)
NOTES: Raisel Iglesias' deadline deal to the Braves opens up the closer role, which will presumably go to his former primary setup man, Tepera. (8/2) ... With the Athletics including Lou Trivino in the Aug. 1 Frankie Montas trade, their closer role is now very much up for grabs. Puk had already been seeing save chances, and he'd make sense in a rest-of-season audition considering his bright future. Jackson has also been serving in a late-inning role, however, and could be involved in a tandem. (8/2) ... Though Sewald has generally been getting the ball in the ninth inning for the Mariners, it's worth pointing out that Festa has two of the team's past three successful saves and a 0.73 ERA in his past 13 appearances. With Diego Castillo landing on the injured list on July 28, Festa might continue to see late-inning, high-leverage work. (7/28) ... The Rangers haven't been getting good performance from Martin of late, so their closer role might be an open competition. Matt Bush has been traded to the Brewers, but Moore has been seeing late-inning work, and both Jonathan Hernandez and Jose Leclerc have been pitching effectively enough that either could force his way into the mix. (8/2)
NOTES: In acquiring Robertson from the Cubs, they must be thinking, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again? The right-hander seems like a logical ninth-inning fit for his new team, pushing Dominguez and Hand back into primary setup duty. (8/2)
NOTES: With David Robertson and Mychal Givens now both gone, the Cubs have precariously few proven options for saves. Wick is by far the most experienced, but Hughes could also be a candidate for saves. (8/9) ... The Brewers' unexpected Aug. 1 trade of Josh Hader might've brought them back former Twins and Padres closer Rogers, but it also cast questions upon the identity of their primary ninth-inning guy. Williams has been one of baseball's best relievers, with a major league-leading 25 holds and 1.59 ERA, and it stands to reason that he'll get the gig. Rogers' past experience, however, could earn him a look. Stay tuned. (8/2) ... The Pirates placed closer David Bednar on the 15-day injured list with a back injury on Aug. 3, opening things up to a potential partnership between Crowe, the team's next-most effective reliever this season, and De Los Santos, who had a trio of saves over a 13-team-game period while Bednar struggled near the end of June. (8/9)
NOTES: The Padres' unexpected Aug. 1 acquisition of Hader gives them arguably the game's top closer, and despite his July performance hiccups, he'll be more likely to hold down the role all year than his predecessor, Taylor Rogers. (8/2)