Fantasy baseball: Closers to save the day

Jason Grilli is slated to grab the saves in Pittsburgh.
Jason Grilli is slated to grab the saves in Pittsburgh.

 

It’s easy to throw out empty fantasy cliches like “wait on a quarterback” and “don’t pay for saves.” Executing the plan takes some more work.

Last season, guys like Jim Johnson, Fernando Rodney and Rafael Soriano came out of nowhere to rank 1-2-3 in total saves. This year won’t be much different at the game’s most volatile position. Some candidates to circle for the middle-to-late rounds of drafts:

Fire Grilli
The Pirates weren’t willing to pay Joel Hanrahan, so they shipped him to Boston. It was an easy decision because they have Jason Grilli to step in as closer right away. He’s racked up 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings over the last two years.

Here’s the Perks
Glen Perkins is a former first-round pick that took a winding path to where he is now — locked in to the closer’s job with plenty of leash in his age-30 season. The biggest concern is that the Twins aren’t going to win a lot of games, thus capping save chances. Still, his ERA and WHIP will be elite.

From the East
Don’t waste a pick on Carlos Marmol. Although he’ll likely enter the season as the Cubs’ closer once again, his leash is going to be very short. Kyuji Fujikawa, the best reliever in Japan over the last six years, has been brought in for support. He’s a strong flier.



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