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Strike Zone

2017 Reliever Rankings

by Matthew Pouliot
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Time for some post-All-Star break fun: here are my very, very preliminary 2017 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams and asterisks if those options are likely to be exercised.

 

Along with the position rankings is a top-300 list for 2017. Click to see other preliminary 2017 rankings:

 

Top 300 | SP | RP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH

 

 

Follow us at @Rotoworld_BB and @matthewpouliot on Twitter.



2017 Relief pitcher Rankings

 

2017 RP Team 2016 July
1 Kenley Jansen   1 1
2 Zach Britton Orioles 5 3
3 Wade Davis Royals* 2 11
4 Aroldis Chapman   11 6
5 Jeurys Familia Mets 6 5
6 Mark Melancon   4 2
7 Hector Rondon Cubs 8 8
8 Craig Kimbrel Red Sox 3 4
9 Roberto Osuna Blue Jays 10 7
10 Cody Allen Indians 12 9
11 David Robertson White Sox 9 10
12 Andrew Miller Yankees 26 21
13 Trevor Rosenthal Cardinals 7 31
14 A.J. Ramos Marlins 13 19
15 Francisco Rodriguez Tigers 15 12
16 Jonathan Papelbon   14 13
17 Jeremy Jeffress Brewers 28 16
18 Arodys Vizcaino Braves 30 25
19 Alex Colome Rays 39 27
20 Greg Holland   NR NR
21 Sam Dyson Rangers 35 14
22 Santiago Casilla   24 18
23 Will Harris Astros 86 15
24 Brandon Maurer Padres 44 20
25 Adam Ottavino Rockies 74 54
26 Dellin Betances Yankees 27 28
27 Huston Street Angels 16 24
28 Ryan Dull Athletics 111 35
29 Edwin Diaz Mariners 264 SP 56
30 Brad Boxberger Rays 22 36
31 Ken Giles Astros 19 40
32 Neftali Feliz   106 66
33 Daniel Hudson Diamondbacks 64 51
34 Hunter Strickland Giants 41 59
35 Ryan Madson Athletics 42 22
36 Seung-hwan Oh Cardinals 84 26
37 Cam Bedrosian Angels 218 45
38 Hector Neris Phillies 159 69
39 Michael Lorenzen Reds 293 SP 58
40 Kelvin Herrera Royals 55 30
41 Jake McGee Rockies 23 32
42 Trevor May Twins 57 43
43 Sean Doolittle Athletics 20 62
44 Fernando Rodney Marlins* 29 34
45 Tony Watson Pirates 36 44
46 Luke Gregerson Astros 18 39
47 Pedro Strop Cubs 43 49
48 Tyler Clippard Diamondbacks 81 55
49 Nate Jones White Sox 53 61
50 Drew Storen   70 NR
51 Brad Ziegler   21 17
52 Darren O'Day Orioles 38 60
53 Juan Nicasio Pirates 55 SP 139 SP
54 Will Smith Brewers 49 53
55 Silvino Bracho Diamondbacks 66 NR
56 Brad Brach Orioles 104 46
57 Shawn Tolleson Rangers 25 57
58 Jason Grilli Blue Jays* 34 70
59 Jake Barrett Diamondbacks 328 NR
60 Derek Law Giants 329 NR
61 Mike Morin Angels 46 NR
62 Steve Cishek Mariners 31 23
63 Addison Reed Mets 114 52
64 Kevin Siegrist Cardinals 60 68
65 Keone Kela Rangers 54 NR
66 Matt Barnes Red Sox 144 NR
67 Shawn Kelley Nationals 71 65
68 Luke Hochevar Royals* 59 84
69 Joakim Soria Royals 51 42
70 Glen Perkins Twins 17 NR
71 Yimi Garcia Dodgers 52 NR
72 Blake Treinen Nationals 72 79
73 Mychal Givens Orioles 47 NR
74 Sergio Romo   62 NR
75 Carlos Estevez Rockies 344 48
76 Tyler Thornburg Brewers 170 NR
77 Trevor Cahill   108 73
78 Pedro Baez Dodgers 79 NR
79 Shae Simmons Braves 116 NR
80 Ryan Pressly Twins 189 64
81 Mike Montgomery Mariners 256 SP 85
82 Kyle Barraclough Marlins 157 81
83 Hansel Robles Mets 89 74
84 Jeanmar Gomez Phillies 314 29
85 Jake Diekman Rangers 77 80
86 Joe Kelly Red Sox 110 SP 166 SP
87 Tony Cingrani Reds 82 37
88 Bruce Rondon Tigers 122 NR
89 Michael Tonkin Twins 174 71
90 Koji Uehara   50 63
91 Junichi Tazawa   83 NR
92 Carl Edwards Jr. Cubs 238 NR
93 Frankie Montas Dodgers 227 SP NR
94 Tony Zych Mariners 95 NR
95 Joe Blanton   68 72
96 Joe Jimenez Tigers 307 NR
97 Brandon Kintzler Twins 286 33
98 David Hernandez   40 67
99 Josh Fields Astros 65 NR
100 Ryan Buchter Padres 353 41

 

Relievers

 

  • This winter’s closer pool is as strong as the starter pool is weak, and don’t forget about Greg Holland as he returns from Tommy John surgery. It’s possible he’ll sign with a contender as a setup man, which could mean more money, but there will be teams willing to take a shot on him as a closer.

 

  • Another free agent who would seem to stand a good shot of landing a closer gig is Neftali Feliz. He has experience in the role, and he’s sporting a 2.88 ERA and a 40/9 K/BB ratio in 34 1/3 innings for the Pirates this year.

 

  • I’m guessing that the Reds will put Raisel Iglesias back in the rotation next year, so he’s listed with the starters. If they decide to commit to him as a reliever in the hopes of keeping him healthy, he’d crack the top 30 and Michael Lorenzen (currently 39th) would tumble. As is, Lorenzen seems like the leading candidate to close for the team next year. It won’t make any sense for the Reds to splurge on an expensive closer this winter, though they could take a flier on a cheaper veteran. I don’t want to totally discount Tony Cingrani, either, but his 28/21 K/BB ratio in 39 1/3 innings this year is quite discouraging. Brandon Finnegan is another starter the Reds could eventually shift to the pen.

 

  • Will Harris comes in at No. 23, eight spots ahead of Ken Giles at No. 31. I don’t doubt that Harris can do the job for Houston and I’d like to have him several places higher, but Giles has the more imposing stuff and the Astros did pay through the nose for him. They might eventually make the switch even if Harris never falters.
Matthew Pouliot

Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of NBC Sports Edge and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @matthewpouliot.