Top 10 closers for dynasty
First of all, it is important when you play in a dynasty league that you value closers the right way. This is a position where teams like to make changes, and very few names are locked in at the position. It means you will find good value on the waiver wire or the free agent player pool throughout the year.
However, it also important every league has its own context and you need to be smart to find the best mix of players. The closer role will probably disappear in the future, simply because it makes more sense to mix and match more. Why should your best reliever be locked in to pitch the 9th inning if the other team has their best batters in the 8th?
- Josh Hader – Milwaukee Brewers – Age: 27
Hader has been a dominate force from the Brewers bullpen the last couple of seasons. He got the closer job last year, when he was more or less forced into the role due to various injuries. He had a career best 16.41 K/9 last season, and also a career best 2.38 BB/9. His only problem in 2019 was the HR, as he gave up a career worst 1.78 HR/9, up from 1.00 the year before. Hader is the best, but it is also important to remember he might not even finish 2020 as Brewers closer, maybe they instead want to use him as a multi-inning reliever and give the closer job to Corey Knebel when he is healthy?
2. Roberto Osuna – Houston Astros – Age: 25
Osuna’s closer job feels a lot safer than Hader and it is amazing when you see that he is only 25-years old. He has already picked up 154 career saves and the role in Houston is locked in. He doesn’t have the same strikeout ability as Hader but 10.11 K/9 is respectable.
3.Aroldis Chapman – New York Yankees – Age: 32
Closer and Aroldis Chapman go hand in hand and he has a decent margin for error before the gets bumped from the job for the Yankees. He is in the later stages of his career, but his strikeout ability is still well above average. In 2019 he had 13.42 K/9, however it was down from 16.31 the year before. Walks is a problem for Chapman, but as long as he can get the strikeouts he will be locked in as a closer in the Bronx.
4. Edwin Diaz – New York Mets – Age: 26
Some might question to have Diaz this high on a top 10 list, as he had 5.59 ERA in 2019 and didn’t get the job done for the Mets. However, he still managed 15.36 K/9, but gave up career worst 26.8 % HR/FB. He was a bit unlucky with a BABIP of .377 (career .311), and a xFIP 3.07. We have our reasons to hope for a better 2020.
5. Ken Giles – Toronto Blue Jays – Age: 29
Giles will be a free agent in 2021 and he wants to get paid. He has managed 114 career saves and feels comfortable with the closer job. He should now be in his prime and for 2020 his job security is above average with the Blue Jays. In 2019 Giles put up a xFIP 2.73, with an ERA of 1.87. His next team (or will he stay in Toronto) will be important, because we want him to remain as a closer.
6. Kirby Yates – San Diego Padres – Age: 33
Yates was one of the best closers in 2019, but he is 33-years old and he doesn’t have many years left as a dominate closer. He will also be a free agent after this season, and the Padres might want to trade him at the deadline. A trade is seldom a good thing for a closer, because he might lose his job simple because he goes to a team with an established closer already. Yates will more than likely be a great option for 2020, but this is a top 10 list for dynasty. In 2019 Yates had a career best with 14.98 K/9 and 1.93 BB/9. Can he keep up these numbers he will be one of the best relievers once again.
7. Taylor Rogers – Minnesota Twins – Age: 29
Rogers has taken the closer job for the Twins and showed in 2019 he can be dominate as the closer. He needs to show stability over time before he can climb higher on this list.
8. Liam Hendriks – Oakland Athletics – Age: 31
Hendriks had one career save before the 2019 season, but managed 25 last year. He somewhat of a late bloomer and needs to show consistency if he should be ranked higher. In 2019 he put up a career best 13.13 K/9, previously best was in 2017 with 10.97.
9. Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers – Age: 32
You have to respect a player who has 301 career saves for a single team. Jansen has been one of the best closers the last decade, but he has turned 32-years old and his best days are behind him. He doesn’t have much competition for saves in 2020 and should keep his job as the closer. In 2019 Jansen put up career worst 3.77 xFIP, the second worst xFIP he has in 2018 with 3.56.
10. Brad Hand – Cleveland Indians – Age: 30
Hand is quietly getting the job done as a closer and he is a solid source for saves. His job as the teams closer is safe for now, and he has a club option to stay with the Indians for 2021.