Free Agent Friday | Closers Galore | 04.06.12

We’ve played less than 0.5% of the baseball that will be played this season thus far but that shouldn’t stop you from shopping around your waiver wire for potential values. At this point in the season, the biggest movement on the waiver wire is all about closers. Lots of situations are still murky and now are becoming clear on Opening Day so closers are being snatched up like crazy. Most of the time, any closer that is starting is worth a shot because saves are so valuable but let’s dive into this week’s possible waiver wire picks and see who is worth a shot.

Good Pickups

Brad Lidge (RP, WAS) – Lidge is a good pickup like hiring a temp worker for your office is a good hire. Lidge is a temporary solution in Washington until Storen returns but if you want cheap saves then step right up. At the end of the year when you’re vying for position in the saves category, those extra two or three saves you get from Lidge may be worth it. Get the saves over the next week or two then cut bait. He will be alternating save chances with Henry Rodriguez so keep an eye on him too. This is one of those situations that is clearly defined at least so you know what you’re getting.

Chris Parmelee (1B, MIN) – I pegged Parmelee as a potential sleeper but it didn’t seem like he would get a chance to start this year so I didn’t dive too far into evaluating him on this website. In deeper leagues, Parmelee could end up having value as a corner infielder though. He’s not a game changer but it seems like he could hit .275 with 20 HR and maybe 90 RBI and 80 Runs on the season. Those type of numbers would be very nice to snatch up off the waiver wire.

Alejandro De Aza (OF, CHW) – I hyped him up already here but just wanted to give him another shout-out since he still available in many leagues.

Bartolo Colon (SP, OAK) – Colon restarted his career in a big way last year and it seems like the renaissance will continue in Oakland. Steamer has him projected for a 3.89 ERA and 1.29 WHIP which is quite nice for a waiver wire pickup. He’s gotten the attention of the fantasy world with his start against the Mariners where he went 8 strong innings and picked up the win. Yes, it was the lowly Mariners but I still think Colon is a good option for deeper fantasy rotations.

Could Be Good Pickups

Matt Thornton (RP, CHW) – Thornton will be a tremendous option if he closes for the White Sox this year. The key word in that last sentence is “if”. For whatever reason, the Sox still have not officially named a closer so Thornton still represents a risk if you decide to roll with him. If he gets the job, he racks up a ton of strikeouts without a huge walk rate and has posted an xFIP of under 3.00 in four consecutive seasons. Sign me up.

Jonathan Broxton (RP, KC) – The mystery of who would take over for Joakim Soria is finally solved. Originally, it seemed like Greg Holland was the obvious choice but it became more clear each day that the Royals were leaning towards Broxton. Now, it becomes official that it is Broxton and he becomes a decent option for your team but I have my worries still. Steamer has him projected for a 3.80 ERA, 1.39 WHIP with 8.55 K/9 and 4.11 BB/9. For a closer, this seems a bit scary for my tastes. With Holland breathing down his neck, that high of a walk rate may not cut it early on.

Alfredo Aceves (RP, BOS) – Let’s see… He’s a closer… He’s on a winning ball club… That all sounds well and good but there are some caveats here. Thus far in his career, he’s had an ugly 4.54 xFIP with low strikeout rates and decent walk rates. When I’m looking at a closer, I want low xFIP with high strikeout rates ideally. So, this raises a red flag with me. Boston has enough other options that I could see them moving on from Aceves after a few poor performances. I’m not sold here.

Let Someone Else Pick Them Up

Joel Peralta  (RP, TB) – With Kyle Farnsworth ailing, there is some mystery about who will pick up the save opportunities in Tampa Bay. There has been no indication of who that will be and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rays do a closer-by-committee situation. Tampa has a variety of options and likely won’t commit strongly to any of them until Farnsworth returns. People seem to be jumping to Peralta on the waiver wire but I’d just stay away from this situation as there doesn’t seem to be a strong favorite and even Peralta isn’t a lights-out option if he does close for the time being.

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