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Closer Report

Our last closer report came back on January 15th, so it's time for a fresh update.  Draft round in parentheses.

  • Red Sox - Jonathan Papelbon (5).
  • Phillies - Brad Lidge (6).
  • Mets - Francisco Rodriguez (7).
  • Twins - Joe Nathan (7).
  • Yankees - Mariano Rivera (7).
  • Royals - Joakim Soria (8).  Soria's being drafted earlier than he was back in January.
  • White Sox - Bobby Jenks (9).
  • Astros - Jose Valverde (10).
  • Angels - Brian Fuentes (10).  Fuentes moved from the 11th to the 10th round, but remains a solid pick.
  • Blue Jays - B.J. Ryan (11).
  • Cubs - Carlos Marmol (11), Kevin Gregg (28). Gregg dropped from the 19th round to the 28th.  Marmol pulled out of the WBC in part because he's battling for the closer job with Gregg.  The Cubs say they haven't decided and will wait until they're 3/4 of the way through spring games to do so.  Obviously Marmol is the favorite.
  • Dodgers - Jonathan Broxton (11).  Broxton will pitch in the WBC.
  • Reds - Francisco Cordero (13).  This month Cordero threw off a mound for the first time since his September foot surgery.  He'll pass on the WBC.  He might be a little better in '09 if he's injury-free.
  • Indians - Kerry Wood (13).
  • Pirates - Matt Capps (13).  Still nice value.
  • Giants - Brian Wilson (14).  The Giants would like him to use his slider and changeup more this year.
  • Braves - Mike Gonzalez (15).  Rafael Soriano (28) is coming back from elbow surgery, and he plummetted down the ADP chart in the last month.  Soriano's elbow is reportedly healthy, though, so he's become a mild sleeper.
  • Rockies - Huston Street (16), Manny Corpas (27).  Street dropped back a round, while Corpas dropped many rounds.  Street pitched hurt in '08, so he should bounce back.  Corpas is expected to close for Panama in the WBC.
  • Padres - Heath Bell (15). Moved up a round, but he's still great value.  Bell lost 25 lbs. this winter using Wii Fit.
  • Marlins - Matt Lindstrom (15).  Moved up four rounds since last time.
  • Athletics - Joey Devine (16), Brad Ziegler (18).  Could be a co-closer situation.  Devine's stock rose a round since last time.  Ziegler will pitch in the WBC, Devine will not.  The A's added Russ Springer and Mike Wuertz since the last time we looked at closers.
  • Brewers - Trevor Hoffman (16).  From the 18th to the 16th round.  The Brewers also have Eric Gagne back on a minor league deal.
  • Nationals - Joel Hanrahan (18). Doesn't have much competition.  Solid value pick.
  • Tigers - Brandon Lyon (20).  Fernando Rodney (undrafted), Joel Zumaya (28).  Lyon may have the closer job, but drafters have an odd amount of faith in him.  Zumaya and Rodney still want to close.  I'll bet Zumaya takes the job from Lyon by June.
  • Diamondbacks - Chad Qualls (22).  Jon Rauch (28) and Tony Pena (undrafted) are next in line.  Qualls has officially been named the closer, yet his draft position dropped four rounds.  Explain that.  The D'Backs added Tom Gordon, but he won't be ready for the start of the season.
  • Rays - Troy Percival (23).  Had offseason back surgery and may not be ready at start of season.  Other closing candidates: Dan Wheeler (27), Grant Balfour (26), and Jason Isringhausen (28).  Izzy needs seven saves for 300, but he'll need to make the team first.
  • Orioles - George Sherrill (24), Chris Ray (28).  Sherrill's shoulder is feeling better.  He's dealing with a mild hamstring strain but is projected as the Opening Day closer by manager Dave Trembley.  Ray had Tommy John in August '07 and is in good healthHe'll get save chances too.  Why did all of these guys drop so far since last time? 
  • Rangers - Frank Francisco (25).  C.J. Wilson (28) is healthy now and wants his job back. Derrick Turnbow (undrafted) and Eddie Guardado (undrafted) are other possibilities.  Francisco dropped several rounds, as if mock drafters simply forgot about the Rangers' Opening Day closer.
  • Cardinals - Chris Perez (27).  Chris Carpenter (27), Jason Motte (28), Ryan Franklin (28), and Kyle McClellan (undrafted) are in the running as well.  All of these guys fell in draft position since last time.  Perez remains the favorite and a great pick this late.
  • Mariners - Tyler Walker (undrafted), Mark Lowe (undrafted), Miguel Batista (undrafted), Roy Corcoran (undrafted), David Aardsma (undrafted), Josh Fields (undrafted).  Mixed leaguers don't even want to speculate on this one.  Brandon Morrow (18) is preparing as a starter.  Walker, who is dealing with a sore quad, is the frontrunner at MLB.com, though Geoff Baker likes Lowe.
  • Francisco, Qualls, Hanrahan, Bell, Street, and Lindstrom are my favorite undervalued closers at the moment.

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