Re-Rank: Relief Pitchers

This is the first part of a series we are doing that will “re-rank” the position for trade values. I am setting these ranks for a daily, innings limit league like Yahoo’s Pro Leagues. Therefore, strikeouts are weighed stronger. In a league like this I find middle relievers with good peripherals useful, and that is reflected in my rank. If you are in a weekly league, or a league with unlimited innings, these guys have much less value.

Below is the list:

Craig Kimbrel ATL 1
Aroldis Chapman CIN 2
Jonathan Papelbon PHI 3
Mariano Rivera NYY 4
Joe Nathan TEX 5
Rafael Soriano WSH 6
Sergio Romo SF 7
Jason Grilli PIT 8
Casey Janssen TOR 9
Tom Wilhelmsen SEA 10
Fernando Rodney TB 11
Rafael Betancourt COL 12
Addison Reed CWS 13
Jim Johnson BAL 14
Glen Perkins MIN 15
Greg Holland KC 16
Chris Perez CLE 17
Huston Street SD 18
Grant Balfour OAK 19
Andrew Bailey BOS 20
J.J. Putz ARI 21
Edward Mujica STL 22
Bobby Parnell NYM 23
Jose Valverde DET 24
Jim Henderson MIL 25
Brandon League LAD 26
Ernesto Frieri LAA 27
Steve Cishek MIA 28
Jose Veras HOU 29
Kevin Gregg CHC 30
Kenley Jansen LAD 31
Joel Hanrahan BOS 32
Kyuji Fujikawa CHC 33
David Hernandez ARI 34
Ryan Madson LAA 35
Kelvin Herrera KC 36
John Axford MIL 37
Carlos Marmol CHC 38
David Robertson NYY 39
Jason Motte STL 40

I use these lists to find buy lows and sell highs. For me this is all about perceived value vs actual value. I look to purchase a player if his actual value exceeds his perceived value and look to sell if the opposite is true.

Buy: Casey Janssen, Jason Grilli, Tom Wilhlemsen

I have read multiple scouting reports raving about Casey Janssen, and his numbers this year are completely backing up those reviews (small sample but still). Grilli is a buy-high candidate; I believe people still perceive the 37 year-old Grilli as a flash in the pan, but his K/9 and peripherals are legit; he could finish a top 5 closer. Wilhelmsen is another sturdy closer who is a safe option you can perhaps deal for. I never advise paying for saves but there is always an occasion where you can swing a closer swap into a deal.

Sell: Fernando Rodney, Jim Johnson, Jonathan Papelbon

I am always in the selling business when it comes to closers. I recently was able to miraculously swap Bobby Parnell for Jeff Samardzija. Never pay for saves, but you can certainly sell saves and scour the waiver wire. I’ve seen Rodney a few times this year and he concerns me; I would sell for 80 cents on the dollar. Peralta and McGee are two solid late innings guys who could take over if Rodney struggles. I have never been a Jim Johnson fan; especially in the format I am ranking these players for, since JJ had more saves than strikeouts. I don’t want my closer ruining my K/9. If I were to own Papelbon I would definitely deal down to one of the Buy candidates, and pick up an OF3 or something useful of that nature. Saves are difficult to predict and it wouldn’t shock me for Casey Janssen or Jason Grilli to have more saves than Papelbon. Never pay for saves, kids.

Players I’m watching:

Joaquin Benoit DET
Vinnie Pestano CLE
Ryan Cook OAK
Trevor Rosenthal STL
Luke Gregerson SD
Joel Peralta TB

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