Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Rondon has been shaky this spring.
Bruce Rondon, Detroit Tigers—Rondon was the favorite to win the closer job heading into spring training, but he hasn't exactly been lights out. In 5.2 innings so far, Rondon has allowed three earned runs, nine hits and five walks. I usually don't put a lot of weight into spring stats, but it's not a good sign for Rondon, who is competing for a job. He might win the closer battle, but I'd take someone else who will be closing for sure.
Brandon League, Los Angeles Dodgers—League will begin the year as the Dodgers' closer, but how long will that last? Kenley Jansen is right behind him, and he's a far superior reliever. League filled in nicely when Jansen was sidelined with heart problems at the end of last season, and that's the only reason he is starting as the ninth inning guy. I anticipate Jansen taking the job from League at some point, just like he did last year with Javy Guerra.
Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay Rays—Rodney will definitely be reached for in your draft. He's coming off a season in which he saved 48 games with a 0.60 ERA and 0.78 WHIP. It was an incredible season, but you can't expect the same magic again in 2013. From 2007-11, he never had an ERA under 4.20 and his lowest WHIP was 1.32. He'll most likely have a regression this season, so don't overpay for him.
Chris Perez, Cleveland Indians—Perez is about as shaky as you can get. He has saved 75 games over the last two years, but he doesn't do it convincingly. Out of the 15 players who saved at least 30 games last season, Perez had the fourth-worst ERA in that group. If you also throw in the fact that he suffered a strained muscle in his right shoulder on February 26, it doesn't look like he's an elite option.
Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs—It's not very often you see a closer with a 1.54 WHIP, but that's exactly what Marmol had last year. He has had problems throwing strikes and keeping his job in Chicago. Plus, it looks like he won't be in the Windy City for much longer. D.J. Short of NBC Sports wrote that team officials told Marmol's agent to "expect" a trade this season. Kyuji Fujikawa is waiting in the wings, and it's only a matter of time before he takes over.