Matthew Pouliot

Strike Zone

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2014 Reliever Rankings

Monday, July 22, 2013

Here are some very preliminary 2014 reliever rankings for your perusal. Try not to take the lists all too seriously; I haven't actually done projections for any of these players and many, many changes will be in store for the first official rankings in January.


These aren't true keeper rankings, since only the 2014 season is being taken into consideration here. But if you're looking to make trades in keeper leagues in the coming weeks, I hope this piece will help you along.



Follow us at @Rotoworld_BB and @matthewpouliot on Twitter.



Click to see other preliminary 2014 rankings:

Top 300 | SP | RP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH




2014 Relief pitcher Rankings




  • This rates as the toughest list of the bunch right now. There are a whole bunch of 2014 closing situations up in the air right now.


Let's just run down the whole list:


Blue Jays: Janssen's $4 million option should be exercised, but Santos and Delabar could push him anyway, perhaps turning him into trade bait.

Orioles: Johnson probably keeps his job.

Rays: Rodney is a FA, and Rays probably won't re-sign him. McGee has closer stuff and could inherit the job.

Red Sox: Uehara and Hanrahan are FAs. Bailey figures to be non-tendered because of his shoulder. That leaves Tazawa as the top in-house option. Most likely, they'll go the free agent or trade route. Even if Uehara is re-signed, it'd probably be as a setup man.

Yankees: The day they've dreaded has finally come. I think they'll keep Robertson in the 8th inning and go get someone to pitch the ninth. Nathan might be ideal.


Indians: Good chance Perez gets traded this winter, leaving Allen, Pestano and a cheap free agent to potentially battle it out. I like Allen.

Royals: Holland's job going forward. The Royals could trade Crow, Herrera or Hochevar to a team looking for help.

Tigers: Benoit is a FA. If Rondon steps up in the second half, he could be handed job this winter. Otherwise, they'll go get someone.

Twins: It'll be Perkins, unless he's traded. If that happens, I expect it will be a mess. Burton would be short-term favorite for saves, but he's not throwing as well as he did last year.

White Sox: Reed


Angels: Frieri is starting to look like a good 2014 bet if he doesn't fall off. Madson shouldn't be back.

Athletics: Balfour shaping up as one of the top FA closers available, which could mean he's a goner. Cook would be the favorite for saves over Doolittle if no replacement is brought in.

Astros: If they don't trade him first, the Astros can bring back Veras for $3.25 million next year. I don't think Cisnero would be a very good choice as a replacement. Ideally, they'll acquire a couple of relievers with upside this winter.

Mariners: Wilhelmsen is under control for four more years, but he might not be Seattle's most reliable reliever any longer. Pryor, Carter Capps and Medina could emerge as candidates to take over.

Rangers: They'll want to bring Nathan back by exercising his $9 million option, but Nathan can void it and become a free agent. They'd still have Soria, Scheppers, Felix and Alexi Ogando as possible closing options, depending on how they want to handle it.


Braves: Kimbrel

Marlins: They keep sending signals that they want to keep Cishek, but the right offer would change their minds. Ramos is the biggest threat to overtake Cishek.

Mets: Parnell has solidified his status with 18 saves in 21 attempts this year. The Mets will be on the lookout for setup guys.
Nationals: Soriano. The Nationals might make Storen trade bait, but his stock has taken a big hit.

Phillies: For better or worse, they'll probably hold on to Papelbon.


Brewers: K-Rod is a FA, and Axford is likely to be non-tendered. The Brewers will keep Henderson, but he's more likely to find himself back in a setup role.

Cardinals: Mujica is a FA, Motte should be on the way back from Tommy John and Rosenthal is one of baseball's most promising relievers going forward. And I haven't even mentioned Siegrist and Carlos Martinez yet.

Cubs: Gregg is a FA. He might be traded anyway. I like Strop as a replacement, but he's far from a sure thing. The Cubs could get Kyuji Fujikawa back from Tommy John in May or June.

Pirates: Grilli will be back, with Melancon likely continuing to set him up.

Reds: If Chapman was going to be moved to the rotation, it would have happened this year.


Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks will be spending about $20 million on Putz, Bell, Ziegler and Hernandez next year, making an upgrade unlikely. It'll probably be Putz's job, if he's healthy.

Dodgers: Jansen is the man, unless the Dodgers have so much money burning a hole in their pocket that they can't resist the temptation to sign another closer.

Giants: Romo shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Padres: The Padres might try to dump Street's contract, which will pay him $7 million next year. They'd still have Gregerson, Dale Thayer and Boxberger in reserve. Burch Smith might also be intriguing, though he's still an SP at the moment.

Rockies: There's a mutual $4.25 million option on Betancourt's contract. The Rockies might go to Brothers even if they do bring Betancourt back.




1 Craig Kimbrel Braves 1 1
2 Aroldis Chapman Reds 2 2
3 Rafael Soriano Nationals 6 6
4 Addison Reed White Sox 10 11
5 Jonathan Papelbon Phillies 4 5
6 Glen Perkins Twins 9 9
7 Kenley Jansen Dodgers 28 10
8 Greg Holland Royals 17 15
9 Joe Nathan * 8 8
10 Fernando Rodney   3 14
11 Jason Grilli Pirates 30 4
12 Jim Johnson Orioles 11 7
13 Grant Balfour   22 12
14 Sergio Romo Giants 12 16
15 Ernesto Frieri Angels 33 18
16 Bobby Parnell Mets 23 19
17 Edward Mujica   88 13
18 Brian Wilson   42 NR
19 Chris Perez Indians 19 20
20 Rex Brothers Rockies 52 28
21 Huston Street Padres 13 24
22 John Axford Brewers 7 48
23 Ryan Cook Athletics 36 43
24 Casey Janssen * 25 17
25 Steve Cishek Marlins 21 29
26 Trevor Rosenthal Cardinals 46 34
27 Rafael Betancourt * 24 23
28 Jake McGee Rays 44 37
29 J.J. Putz Diamondbacks 15 30
30 Jose Veras * 35 22
31 Pedro Strop Cubs 89 NR
32 Neftali Feliz Rangers 242 NR
33 Jason Motte Cardinals 18 NR
34 Mark Melancon Pirates 29 33
35 David Robertson Yankees 53 41
36 Bruce Rondon Tigers 47 51
37 Sean Doolittle Athletics 32 40
38 Steve Delabar Blue Jays 96 NR
39 Francisco Rodriguez   85 39
40 Tom Wilhelmsen Mariners 16 32
41 Cody Allen Indians 116 69
42 A.J. Ramos Marlins 57 44
43 Joakim Soria Rangers 81 NR
44 Koji Uehara   59 31
45 Jim Henderson Brewers 141 21
46 Joaquin Benoit   40 25
47 Kelvin Herrera Royals 39 NR
48 Jesse Crain   101 42
49 Alexander Torres Rays 410 NR
50 Kevin Siegrist Cardinals NR NR
51 Tyler Clippard Nationals 56 50
52 David Hernandez Diamondbacks 43 46
53 Tanner Scheppers Rangers 131 38
54 Vinnie Pestano Indians 48 36
55 Drew Smyly Tigers 151 SP 45
56 Junichi Tazawa Red Sox 54 54
57 Joel Hanrahan   14 NR
58 Sergio Santos Blue Jays 38 NR
59 Jordan Walden Braves 68 66
60 Al Alburquerque Tigers 37 67
61 Brandon League Dodgers 20 NR
62 Andrew Bailey Red Sox 63 26
63 Antonio Bastardo Phillies 77 65
64 Ryan Madson   26 NR
65 Stephen Pryor Mariners 138 NR
66 Tommy Hunter Orioles 82 64
67 Luke Gregerson Padres 69 49
68 Heath Bell Diamondbacks 90 56
69 Brad Boxberger Padres 95 NR
70 Drew Storen Nationals 41 61
71 Aaron Crow Royals 55 NR
72 Brad Ziegler Diamondbacks 94 62
73 Joel Peralta Rays 70 47
74 J.J. Hoover Reds 84 NR
75 Yoervis Medina Mariners 458 35

Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @matthewpouliot.
Email :Matthew Pouliot

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