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2013 MLB Preview: Fantasy Baseball Additional Closer Options

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 28:  Catcher Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates with closer Chris Perez #54 after the Indians defeated the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field on September 28, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Royals 8-5. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images
Ryan LesterSenior Writer IMarch 6, 2013

We already looked at the LestersLegends’ top 10 fantasy baseball closers for 2013, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t additional options if you choose to wait to fill your relief pitcher slots to address other positions. 

 

John Axford, Milwaukee Brewers

Axford has 81 saves over the past two seasons, but he struggled with his control last year, leading to a 4.67 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. He averages 11.39 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) to offset some of the damage he does to your WHIP category. 

 

Grant Balfour, Oakland Athletics

Balfour nailed down 24 saves last year, but posted a rock solid ERA (2.53) and WHIP (0.92). He records approximately a strikeout per inning and he’s nearly untouchable at home (1.06 ERA, 0.69 WHIP). 

 

Joel Hanrahan, Boston Red Sox

Hanrahan has 76 saves over the past two seasons, and one would think that the move from the Pittsburgh Pirates to Boston will increase his save opportunities. That said, he will be facing more potent lineups. 

 

Greg Holland, Kansas City Royals

Holland converted 16 of his 18 save opportunities and posted a 1.98 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP when he took over the closer gig. The Royals have an improved rotation, which should provide more leads to protect. 

 

Chris Perez, Cleveland Indians

Perez has 75 saves over the past two seasons. After averaging a 5.9 K/9 ratio in 2011, he bounced back with a 9.2 K/9 mark. His career ERA is 3.23 with a 1.18 WHIP. He could easily finish among the top 10 fantasy closers. 

 

J.J. Putz, Arizona Diamondbacks

Putz is another closer that could finish among the top 10. He has 77 saves over the past two seasons while sporting a 2.48 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. He’s a little bit of a slow starter, as evidenced by his 3.73 first-half ERA over the past two years. He’s been untouchable after the break, though, posting a 0.91 mark. 

 

Addison Reed, Chicago White Sox

Reed’s positives were his 29 saves and the fact he averaged nearly a strikeout per inning. His negatives were his ERA (4.75) and WHIP (1.36). He is only 24 and has good stuff. He should make strides in his second season at closer. 

 

Huston Street, San Diego Padres

Street can flat out get the job done. He has a career 1.04 WHIP and a 9.2 K/9 ratio. He was great for San Diego last year, posting a 1.85 ERA and a 0.72 WHIP. Why isn’t he a top-10 closer? The simple answer is durability. He seems to get hurt every year. 

 

Tom Wilhelmsen, Seattle Mariners

Wilhelmsen is an under-the-radar option. He saved 29 games last year while posting a 2.50 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 87 strikeouts in 79-1/3 innings (9.9 K/9).

 

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