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Closer Report

Notable Free Agents: Jim JohnsonCraig Kimbrel, Ryan Madson

Elite Closers

Astros

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March 3: The Astros are expected to open the 2019 season with Roberto Osuna in the closer's role.

Athletics

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March 3: The A's are expected to open the 2019 season with Blake Treinen in the closer's role.

Dodgers

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Feb. 12: Closer Kenley Jansen, coming off a second heart procedure, is healthy and ready for a more serious Spring Training after last year's "vacation" backfired and led to an erratic beginning of the season. "We'll be more aggressive with him this year," manager Dave Roberts said.

Indians

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Feb. 17: The Indians have plenty of decisions to make during Spring Training, especially when it comes to the bullpen, but what to do with Brad Hand is not one of them. "He'll be at the end of the game," Indians manager Terry Francona said on Sunday. "That's the role we certainly envision." As if it couldn't have been assumed, Hand will be able to settle in as the Tribe's closer after spending the second half of last season in an undefined role. More >

Mets

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Dec. 3: The Mets and Mariners finalized and announced a blockbuster deal on Monday, sending eight-time All-Star Robinson Cano and standout closer Edwin Diaz to Flushing.

Nationals

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March 3: The Nationals are expected to open the 2019 season with Sean Doolittle in the closer's role.

Pirates

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March 3: The Pirates are expected to open the 2019 season with Felipe Vazquez in the closer's role.

Reds

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March 3: Although the Reds have indicated that they are open to using Raisel Iglesias in a variety of high-leverage situations this season, the right-hander will likely get the majority of the club's save chances.

Yankees

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March 3: The Yankees are expected to open the 2019 season with Aroldis Chapman in the closer's role.

Stable Situations

Angels

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Jan. 21: The Angels have found their closer for the 2019 season, as they signed right-hander Cody Allen to a one-year contract on Sunday. More >

Blue Jays

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March 3: The Blue Jays are expected to open the 2019 season with Ken Giles in the closer's role.

Giants

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March 3: Will Smith is the frontrunner to be the Giants' closer at the outset of the 2019 season, but Mark Melancon could also be a factor.

Mariners

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Jan. 27: The Mariners don't expect to have a one-man replacement for Edwin Diaz, but their list of candidates to fill the closer role for 2019 got more interesting as right-handed free agent Hunter Strickland agreed to a one-year deal, the club officially announced on Sunday. More >

Marlins

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March 3: Drew Steckenrider is the frontrunner to be the Marlins' closer, but Adam Conley, Tayron Guerrero and new addition Sergio Romo could also be in the mix.

Orioles

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March 3: The Orioles are expected to open the 2019 season with Mychal Givens in the closer's role.

Padres

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March 3: The Padres are expected to open the 2019 season with Kirby Yates in the closer's role.

Rangers

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Jan. 25: Jose Leclerc received the Pitcher of the Year Award at the Rangers Winter Warmup on Friday night at Texas Live! He also received confirmation from manager Chris Woodward on what his role with the Rangers will be going into Spring Training. "He is going to be our closer," Woodward said. "He has earned that right. He is our best bullpen guy and one of the best pitchers in baseball." More >

Rockies

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March 3: The Rockies are expected to open the 2019 season with Wade Davis in the closer's role.

Tigers

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March 3: The Tigers are expected to open the 2019 season with Shane Greene in the closer's role.

Uncertain Situations

Braves

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March 15: Closer candidate A.J. Minter (left shoulder tightness) has been playing catch without issue, but he is questionable for Opening Day. More >

Brewers

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March 3: The Brewers used a variety of players to close games in 2018, and they could take the same approach this season. Corey Knebel, Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress are all in the mix for save chances.

Cardinals

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Dec. 21: The Cardinals finalized a two-year deal with left-hander Andrew Miller on Friday. Miller will likely be in the mix for save chances in 2019, along with Jordan Hicks and possibly Alex Reyes.

Cubs

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March 15: Pedro Strop is a candidate to fill in at closer while Brandon Morrow works his way back from right elbow surgery, which will keep him out past Opening Day, but Strop is dealing with an injury of his own. It's unclear when the right-hander, who is battling a right hamstring strain, will resume throwing off a mound. Strop has been limited to playing catch. 

D-backs

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Jan. 31: The D-backs added depth to the back end of their bullpen Thursday by signing free agent right-hander Greg Holland to a one-year, $3.5 million deal which includes an additional $3.5 million in incentive bonuses. Holland joins Archie Bradley and Yoshihisa Hirano at the back of the D-backs' bullpen. When asked at last month's Winter Meetings who his closer would be, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said if he had to pick at that moment it would be Bradley, and that still seems likely the way the team will go.

Phillies

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Jan. 3: The Phillies and right-hander David Robertson on Thursday agreed to a two-year, $23 million contract, with a $12 million club option ($2 million buyout) for 2021, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported. It could be the Phillies' final significant pitching acquisition of the offseason. Robertson and right-hander Seranthony Dominguez are likely to split ninth-inning duties next season, which takes Philadelphia off the market for free-agent closers Craig Kimbrel and Zach Britton.

Rays

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Feb. 14: With Sergio Romo no longer part of the club, the Rays appear set to utilize a combination of Jose Alvarado, Diego Castillo and Chaz Roe at closer to begin 2019.

Red Sox

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March 3: Red Sox Nation wanted to know who the team's closer would be weeks, if not months, ago. But the man who ultimately will make that decision is in a much more patient and open-minded frame of mind. Red Sox manager Alex Cora is perfectly willing to allow Spring Training to run its course. There will be constant evaluations and meetings. And there have been ongoing discussions on whether there will be a set closer, or if the club will instead be more flexible with the approach. If the Red Sox go with a set closer, Matt Barnes seems like the most logical candidate. He has the most proven track record, and the veteran right-hander finished strong late last season and into the playoffs. Ryan Brasier is another candidate, but he's been limited so far in Spring Training due to a right pinkie toe infection. Cora thinks he will be ready to start the season. More >

Royals

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Feb. 13: The manner in which Royals manager Ned Yost will utilize his bullpen this season may surprise some fans and observers. While Yost has been a traditionalist in terms of anointing roles, especially in terms of a closer, he may be moving in a different direction. Yost is content using right-hander Wily Peralta in high-leverage situations -- Peralta re-signed with the Royals after going 14-for-14 in save situations last season, albeit some of those saves were a bit hairy. But now that the Royals have signed former D-backs closer Brad Boxberger, Yost will have more options. Yost also trusts left-hander Tim Hill late in games, and it's possible a starter such as Ian Kennedy, Jorge Lopez or Heath Fillmyer who doesn't make the rotation could see time late in games. More >

Twins

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Jan. 14: The Twins made their first bullpen acquisition of the offseason on Monday by signing former Angels reliever Blake Parker, a veteran of six Major League seasons, to a one-year contract with a base salary of $1.8 million. Though he doesn't have a lengthy track record as a closer, Parker should slot into the back end of the bullpen alongside Trevor May, Addison Reed, Trevor Hildenberger and Taylor Rogers, and he could get consideration for the ninth inning, especially if the Twins don't add a more experienced closer before the season. More >

White Sox

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Jan. 8: An official White Sox closer for the 2019 season might not be named by manager Rick Renteria until near the end of Spring Training. But with the official addition of free agent Kelvin Herrera, who agreed with the White Sox on a two-year, $18 million deal including a club option for 2021 as announced Tuesday, the White Sox have another strong late-inning option. The White Sox already added right-hander Alex Colome in a trade with Seattle earlier this offseason and picked up the $4.65 million option on Nate Jones, the longest-tenured player currently with the organization. This trio joins Jace Fry, Ian Hamilton and Juan Minaya, not to mention the possibility of Zack Burdi mid-season, as part of the late-inning, high-leverage crew, giving Renteria and White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper plenty of choices.

Injured Closers