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Friday, December 1, 2017

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: CLOSERS BECOMING MAJOR WINTER TOPIC

As often happens once free agency gets underway around Major League Baseball, the first dominos to fall usually center around the closing community.  With prices among this group overall becoming quite reasonable, teams usually tackle this segment of their teams first before moving onto other items. Already some moves/trades are being completed to impact the closer world so let's get to the latest.

-The Los Angeles Angeles made a buy low trade for veteran stopper Jim Johnson from the Atlanta Braves on Thursday; this despite the guy coming off a rough 2017 that included a shoddy 5.56 ERA and 1.46 WHIP.  While there is no denying Johnson was abysmal, he was very good in 2016 closing games for the Braves and he could be in line for a shot to pick up some saves on a ninth inning-needy Angels team.  Be that as it may, Johnson would begin the 2018 season as arguably the lowest rated closer on the board so this is not a major news item.

-The Arizona Diamondbacks made a smart move in acquiring hard-throwing reliever Brad Boxberger from the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.  While Boxberger endured an injury-plagued 2017, he did pitch to a solid 3.38 ERA and 1.15 WHIP while maintaining splendid strikeout stuff that works nicely in the ninth inning.  While Boxberger has always fought some control problems, he should have a chance to challenge for the closer role in Arizona who relied on dinosaur Fernando Rodney last season.  Decent upside play. 

-The Colorado Rockies have stepped up their pursuit of free agent closer Wade Davis and it seems a match could be had here.  The Rockies have emphasized building their pen as a means to shorten games so as not to overexpose their rotation to the Coors Field elements.  While Greg Holland was very good for the Rockies last season, his ugly finish when he was on fumes left a bad taste in the team's mouth.  If Davis were to sign with the Rockies, look for Holland to be courted by the Chicago Cubs as a replacement. 


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