Say, let’s talk about baseball players who throw baseballs at the end of baseball games because talking about how fragile our shared humanity is and how we’re all more like a pack of 7 billion scared, cornered, and doomed coyotes than we’d like to think, why, that isn’t nearly as fun. My back-of-the-envelope ranking of free-agent closers would go something like this!
- Kenley Jansen
- Mark Melancon
- Greg Holland (with scouting and medical encouragement)
- Brad Ziegler
- Koji Uehara
- Santiago Casilla
- Jonathan Papelbon
- Edwin Jackson
- Tim Worrell
- Aroldis Chapman
There’s a big gap between Worrell and Chapman, to be honest. But that’s just me, personally. The Giants? They probably see it as a clear 1-2-3, with Jansen and Chapman at the top and Melancon close behind. Only Jansen would require them to cough up their first-rounder, though, so that might affect their rankings, but the rough order is pretty clear.
Which makes this unsurprising:
#SFGiants officials have met this week with reps for closers Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon, sources say. @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 10, 2016
Bob Nightengale confirms the part about (shudder) Chapman, so if you were looking for some moral high ground, whatever, we’re all going to die anyway. The Giants will consider anyone and everyone who would prevent them from repeating their season-ending (and division-losing) debacle. We haven’t had time to reflect just how bad that bullpen really was, but the more I think about it, the more I’m pretty sure that I rate the Giants’ bullpen performance last year as “Bad to really bad.” Will need more time to make sure, though.
They’re not going to have a pile of money with which to attack the offseason, though, with raises to Brandons and other backloaded contracts negating all of the free agents they’re losing. They’ll also have to wait for the Collective Bargaining Agreement to be finalized to see how much they can spend without going over the luxury tax, but it seems like they’re at least considering shopping at Nordstrom for their closer.
I’m in the middle of a longer post about Jansen and my admiration for him, so consider this an opening salvo without a ton of analysis. The Giants are looking for a closer, and they’re talking with the agents for the best and most expensive ones, for better or for worse.
Just a couple months of closer rumors left, everyone. This will certainly not get irritating and repetitive. Looking forward to it, really.