Fantasy baseball grand larceny: Closers

Other than the mythological Mariano Rivera, every closer in baseball is a mere mortal.

They are all just one bad week from losing their job. Ask formerly elite fireballers Jonathan Broxton and Jonathan Papelbon about that.

We can compensate on draft day by racking up as many low-end save candidates as possible.

By not investing a lot, we don’t lose a lot if/when they implode. Here are three to target after you have stockpiled hitting and starting pitching:

Moving on up

Chicago’s Matt Thornton has been one of the game’s best setup men, compiling a sub-3.00 ERA in each of the last three seasons. Now he has been promoted to the closer’s chair. He’ll solidify the White Sox’s bullpen.

Not a Putz

Let’s not forget how effective J.J. Putz can be when healthy. He saved 40 games for the Mariners a few years back and has virtually no competition for Arizona’s gig this year.

National relief

Drew Storen was overshadowed by Stephen Strasburg a year ago, but the 23-year-old has nasty stuff of his own. He will have no problem eventually separating from Tyler Clippard.

MLB sleepers

Each week in this space, we’ll hand out three upside players that can be had late in drafts:

1 Freddie Freeman, 1B, ATL – One of the best hitting prospects in baseball, Freeman is projected to play every day out of the gate.

2 Ian Desmond, SS, WAS – At a thin position, Desmond will give his owners 20 home run and 20 steal upside on the cheap.

3 Chris Davis, 1B, TEX — It’s a do or die season for Davis. His power potential is worth gambling on with your last pick.


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