With a tip of the hat to alliterative author Kerry Moss I borrow a title from his bailiwick.
For those of you keeping score at home, the possibilities at closer are extensive and somewhat expensive. But a basic knowledge of the laws of supply and demand have to favor team owners don’t they? The supply this year seems to be unusually large and with a lot of focus on the First Base sweepstakes there may be a valuable play to be made in the bullpen. Let’s see what demonstrated closers are available via free agency:
|Closer||Age/2012 Opening Day||G||IP||ERA||K/IP||BB/IP||WHIP||SV||2011 Salary|
|Heath Bell||34||131||132.2||2.17||9.3||3.3||1.176||90||$7.5 million|
|Jonathan Broxton||27||78||75.0||4.32||10.0||4.4||1.547||29||$7 million|
|Matt Capps||28||143||138.2||3.31||6.0||1.0||1.233||57||$7.125 million|
|Francisco Cordero||36||143||142.1||3.16||6.4||3.7||1.230||77||$12.125 million|
|Kyle Farnsworth||36||123||122.1||2.80||8.2||2.3||1.071||25||$2.6 million|
|Frank Francisco||32||110||103.1||3.66||9.8||3.1||1.297||19||$4 million|
|Ryan Madson||31||117||113.2||2.45||10.0||2.3||1.100||37||$4.833 million|
|Joe Nathan||37||48||44.2||4.84||8.7||2.8||1.164||14||$11.25 million|
|Jonathan Papelbon||31||128||131.1||3.43||11.2||2.6||1.104||68||$11 million|
|Jon Rauch||33||112||109.2||3.94||6.7||2.3||1.322||32||$3.5 million|
|Francisco Rodriguez||30||126||129.0||2.44||10.2||3.3||1.233||48||$12.167 million|
|Rafael Soriano||32||106||101.2||2.66||8.2||2.8||0.993||47||$10 million|
|Jose Valverde||34||135||135.1||2.59||8.8||4.4||1.175||75||$7 million|
So far Jose Valverde has already had his option picked up by the Tigers for $9 million dollars and all indications are that Rafael Soriano will return to the Yankees. The Brewers have naturally declined the absurd $17 million option on Scott Boras client Francisco Rodriguez and I doubt the Reds would ever be interested in him based on his representation alone. (Boras also represents Soriano who seems heir apparent to Mariano Rivera.)
I do not see Farnsworth or Nathan as an option due to their age which also makes me question if the Reds really are still considering accepting the option on Cordero who is also 36. If the Reds still consider $12 million an amount to work with then to me Bell, Madson, and Papelbon seem the best choices. Papelbon was once a teammate of Bronson Arroyo and I have always wondered whether he might be a fit. Bell would be a wonderful addition. Jonathon Broxton did not have the season many hoped he would have in 2011 so a flyer on him might be a less expensive bonanza if his performance would improve.
The music has started and I would bet it will be a month or so before it stops and we get a better feel for where the Reds bullpen stands. I wish Mr. Jockety happy hunting!
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