Free Agent Market: Closers

Looking for a free agent closer to fill your team's ninth inning void?  Let's examine the market.

  • Saves are in large part of function of opportunity, but I'll note that Trevor Hoffman leads free agent closers with 36.  Fernando Rodney has 35.  Hoffman and Rodney also rank first and second in save opportunities.  Rodney leads with a 97.2% success rate, and Hoffman is next at 92.3%.
  • Hoffman leads with a 1.76 ERA.  Then it's Valverde at 2.08, LaTroy Hawkins at 2.20, and Mike Gonzalez at 2.49.  XFIP leaders: Rafael Soriano at 3.00, Gonzalez at 3.52, and Hoffman at 3.62.
  • Soriano leads free agent closers with a 11.89 K/9.  Gonzalez is next at 11.07, and Jose Valverde checks in at 9.69.  Kevin Gregg also whiffed more than a batter per inning (9.31). 
  • Hoffman has the best control, with a 1.94 BB/9.  Then it's Hawkins at 2.35 BB/9, Soriano at 3.10, and Valverde at 3.29.  Rodney is the riskiest at 4.74 BB/9.
  • Best home run rate: Hoffman (0.35 per nine), Soriano (0.74), Gonzalez (0.87), and Valverde (0.87).  Rodney is the only real groundball artist at 56.4%.
  • Hoffman is the toughest to hit at 6.00 per nine.  Soriano (6.32), Valverde (6.40), and Gonzalez (6.84) were also stingy.  Hoffman is also your BABIP leader at .237.
  • Gregg threw the most pitches at 1305.  Hoffman had the least at 696.
  • Valverde and Rodney have the highest average fastball velocity at 95.9 mph.  Hawkins and Wagner averaged 94.2.
  • Billy Wagner didn't close this year, but he'd like to in 2010.  He's returned from Tommy John surgery to post 22 strikeouts against 8 walks in 13 innings.  Other free agent pitchers with closing experience: Luis Ayala, Danys Baez, Miguel BatistaJoaquin Benoit, Rafael Betancourt, Chad Cordero, Octavio Dotel, Kelvim Escobar, Eric Gagne, Tom Gordon, Bob Howry, Jason Isringhausen, Jorge Julio, Brandon Lyon, Troy Percival, J.J. Putz, Takashi Saito, Justin SpeierDavid Weathers, and Eddie GuardadoKiko Calero also merits consideration.
  • Type A free agents: Wagner, Valverde, Gonzalez, Hoffman, Soriano, Hawkins, and Gregg.  Rodney is a Type B.

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