Several weeks ago, I used some bandwidth to express some concern about the closer pool for this year’s drafts and auctions. At the time, I had not really delved into the inventory, it was more an off-the-cuff observation, suggesting there were not many reliable options and the landscape was going to be crazy. But lately, I have been writing profiles for both the Platinum subscription and ESPN and I’m not as concerned anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like there are 30 Mo Rivera clones populating the Majors. It’s just that upon closer inspection (see what I did there?), things aren’t as bad as I thought. It turns out that there are the normal tiers, with perhaps a few less at the top. There are a lot of guys that inherited the job in-season last year possessing everything necessary to be a reliable closer except a track record of success. Their peripherals are closer-worthy. They’ve just been on the job for less than a year.
Here’s how I see the tiers (in no particular order within the tier) with some quips.