This week shored up the closer situation for a few teams. The Yankees resigned Mariano Rivera for $10M and the Cubs signed Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa to a 2-year deal with a 3rd year option. The question is, will the Yankees drive up the market by paying so much for a 43-year old closer coming off a major injury or will teams just brush that off as paying for a job well done?
Soriano has spent the last three years in the AL East and had over 42 saves two of those years. He has a career 2.78 ERA, 132 saves, and the Yankees decided that he wasn’t worth the $11M option. For the right price, Soriano would be a great option for the Red Sox. Marmol is one of the most erratic closers in baseball, his BB/9 last season was 7.3, higher than his average, and his K/9 was 11.7, exactly his average. The problem with Marmol, besides the walks is his nearly $10M salary. If the Cubs were desperate to unload his contract and would take some of his salary in a deal, maybe the Red Sox could consider it.
The best value in the closing market could be Royals’ closer Joakim Soria. Soria missed last season with Tommy John surgery but has a career 2.40 ERA with 160 saves and a K/9 of 9.7. The scary thing about Soria is that his situation is similar to Andrew Bailey‘s last year which burned the Red Sox. Soria doesn’t have the injury track record that Bailey had, but the recent similarities can’t be ignored.
Two more former top-line closers available are Brian Wilson and Francisco Rodriguez. Brian Wilson had 4 straight seasons of at least 36 saves before only pitching 2 innings last season. K-Rod, someone who might have once been considered the best closer in the game, hasn’t’ gotten over 35 saves since 2008. Although he hasn’t gotten huge save numbers since getting 62 in 2008, last season was only his 3rd season of his career that he had an ERA over 3. His drop in the overrated save numbers might knock down his value a little that would help the Sox find a bargain in their bullpen.
Now of course, Andrew Bailey is arbitration eligible and will likely be back with the Sox. Rumors are that they would trade him but his value is very low. The Red Sox can’t take a gamble on Bailey again, at least not as their closer.