Closer salaries

I threw together the chart below. It’s not too informative, because Smoltz throws off the chart so everybody else pretty much looks the same. Which, I guess, is informative in its way.

closer salaries.jpg

59 thoughts on “Closer salaries”

  1. The chart does show that the Braves have tried to solve the closer problem in-house. Maybe they should go back to that, as the trades for Reitsma and Kolb were not exactly a success (though Reitsma’s not bad as set up/middle relief).

  2. I can’t view the Reitsma trade as bad because we gave up Nelson and Bong who are nowhere right now and Reitsma has provided some headaches but he also has provided stretches of quality relief pitching. Plus we acquired Reitsma to set up which he is pretty good at. The problems arose when he was forced to close because of the Kolb failure. I like Reitsma if he pitches the 8th inning and we can limit his innings a little more.

  3. Not to quibble, but shouldn’t PeŮa be listed twice, or did he work mainly as a set-up man the second time around?

  4. Time for todays crazy trade (slow week at work)
    A snow flake just told me that Atlanta, Colorado and St.Louis have a three team deal going down

    ATL-sends LaRoche and KJ to Colorado, James to St.Louis
    COL-sends Helton to ATL, Jeff Baker to Stl.
    StL- sends Jason Marquis to COlorado and Al Reyes to ATL.

  5. I’ve been wondering if there is even a closer on the market who would be worth picking up. It seems to me that anyone we pick up would not be a guarantee. We’re not going to pick up Lidge or Rivera. That graph above just confirms to me that the best idea may be to look in house. We have some guys (Boyer, Devine…) with as much potential to be the MAN as most the possible candidates we could bring in from a trade. In order to get the chance to see if a guy like Shields or Qualls would work, the costs may be too high.

  6. Ligtenberg and Rocker both had less than a full season’s worth of experience in the majors when they took over closer duties. Ligtenberg isn’t really comparable (he was 26 in his first major league season, already a “veteran”) but Rocker was just 23 when he debuted, same as Boyer.

  7. I would say Boyer is the best option to close, if he is over his arm troubles.
    Kevin Barry might sneak in during ST

  8. Well Merv has been on vacation for 6 months today. Is thisone of those vacations like Forest Gump’s dad took?

  9. Randy Flores would be a nice pick up. He is a power pitcher, which is something we don’t really have in the pen right now

  10. Eric Byrnes was non-tendered by Baltimore. He might be a good pick-up(and Atlanta has had interest in him in the past). I think he’s a better option than Diaz in LF but not sure if he can play 1B.

  11. Byrnes sucks. He would be a good fit in AAA and could come up when the wall eats KJ. Yes Kelly, the big bad wall is comming for you!

  12. THink Jonny Damond will do naked pull ups in the Yankee locker room, or would that be too big of a turn on to A-Rod and Jeter?

  13. The Cardinals just signed Sidney Ponson.

    As far as I can tell, the only team in that division that has made a single good move is the Cincinnati Reds, who managed to trade Sean Casey for Dave Williams, a nice little pitcher. What the hell is going on in that division? Is any team in there going to win more than 90 games?

  14. Not counting Lonnie Smith, I’ve never seen an outfielder have as many flyball adventures as Eric Byrnes. It’s like he’s running on hot coals out there.

  15. I’m not sure that St. Louis, the home of the Anheuser-Busch brewery, is such a good match for Sir Sidney.

  16. The moral of the story appears to be: pay peanuts, get monkeys – or Reitsma to be precise

    Actually, the moral of the story is that you can pretty much punt the closer position and still win, and that having the unhittable lockdown closer is overrated.

    I’m beginning to favor the “grab a bunch of kids, and whoever throws the best in Spring Training gets to close” strategy. I’d be more in favor of acquiring a veteran if I thought there was one out there worth acquiring…Batista? MacDougal? Baez? Just throw Boyer or Lerew out there and see if you can luck into a cheap, effective closer.

  17. Tanto, I think you’re right. It all depends on whether the bullpen actually has good pitchers.

    I think what Schuerholz has been extremely careful to do is not to overpay any one reliever (except Smoltz) and instead rely on a bullpen well-stocked with youngsters, has-beens, reclamation projects, and other cheap journeymen. As long as those guys wildly exceed expectations–as they usually collectively did, under Leo’s tenure–the bullpen will be both good and cheap. Otherwise, they’ll be terrible and cheap, like this year. But he won’t let them be a salary sinkhole, like the Yankees had.

  18. Ken Harvey got non-tendered. What symmetry that would bring to the 1B platoon.

    Speaking of the second coming of Lonnie “Skates” Smith, Andruw been sporting a kadunkadunk the past few years.


  19. Are you allowed to negotiate contracts with a guy who’s in jail? Ponson just got out like 3 days ago.

    Well, in Monopoly you can collect rent, buy houses/hotels, and conduct trades while in jail.

  20. Put me in the camp that believes we should stock the pen with youngsters, retreads, has-been’s, and never-will-be’s and see what shakes out of ST. It’s cheaper to find the NEXT Billy Wagner than it is to buy the original.

  21. After this year, I often feel like I’d be happy to find the next Billy Zane.

    And, hey, easy on Skates. I know nobody’s really bashed him yet, but I’m sensitive on this one for some reason.

  22. The quandry we have this year re: the bullpen is that this is the first year without Leo. I think the reason we were able to get away with has-beens, et al, is that we had Leo to kick them into ‘Braves-shape’. We actually have no idea what to expect out of McDowell as to how he will manage a bullpen and if he will be able to resurrect the carreers of any randon trash heap pitcher like Leo did without thinking before lunch. This is going to be an adventure like none we have seen in recent memory, because Leo has been there rockin’ next to Bobby for 15 years.

  23. McDowell’s strength as a coach is supposed to be working with young guys, not has beens or reclamation projects…and young guys is what we’ve got, so we’ll see.

  24. I think the Leo-effect had as much to with Bobby, if not more. Right after Leo defected, somebody posted some interesting info on pitchers’ productivity under Bobby vs. away. I remember seeing enough info there to support the theory.

    Here’s to hoping that I’m right and Atlanta continues to have an above average staff, while Leo struggles to work his “magic” in Balitmore. Actually, I wish Leo all the best. I just want continued excellence in Atlanta, too.

  25. The Renteria deal show the Braves are thinking short-term, so as long as we’re discussing fantasy trades, how about Ortiz, Manny and Papelbon for Andruw plus LaRoche? Langerhans can slide over to CF, and Boston gets a new CF. I’d do it. Would y’all?

  26. On the other hand, if the Braves really are serious about the bullpen building approach of youngsters, has-beens, reclamation projects, they would probably not trade for Kolb last year and wouldn’t make offers to Hoffman and Todd Jones during this off-season.

    I think the preference for JS will still be seeking for a true closer, and I believe Bobby actually prefers having a true closer on the team. However, JS will not overpay a reliever after his lesson learned from the Mark Davis signing. Under today’s market, not overpaying a reliever pretty much means the Braves will not get anyone. So, he will have to work out something through trade or bringing in pieces from elsewhere and then slowly merge Boyer into the closer role.

  27. I’ve heard tell that Billy Z. throws a mean knluckler. He evidently learned if from Reverend Jim while filming Back to the Future.

  28. Has anyone else seen that EASports is coming a college baseball game? It comes out January 18th. Looks badass

  29. Irrelevant Orioles-related vent:

    At the end of this season, the Orioles ran their bullpen coach, Elrod Hendricks, who had been with the organization for 37 years, out of his job and off the team.

    Tonight, Elrod Hendricks died.

    I’d like to send out a sincere message to the wonderful members of the Orioles organization (profanity alert!): Fuck you.

    Vent over.

  30. I’m sorry that he died, but just why are the Orioles to blame for this? It’s a business and they no longer required his services. Thus, they terminated their business relationship. I really don’t see where his death has anything to do with the Orioles organization.

  31. They also ran out Cal Ripken Sr. after he had been there for 236 years. Then his son cost them a bunch of games (like Favre does the Packers)so he could get a record. Jr’s revenge was good!

  32. When I was a little kid (say 7-12), I rooted for the old Orioles, mainly because of Brooks Robinson. I’ll always remember Elrod Hendricks for that wacky play in the 1970 World Series vs. Cincinnati.

    Bernie Carbo on third, Ty Cline hits a chopper in front of the plate, Hendricks grabs the ball, reaches to tag the oncoming Carbo with his glove while holding the ball in his bare hand, Carbo misses the plate with his slide & somehow umpire Ken Burkhart has his back turned to the play. For no good reason, Carbo is called out.

    Hendricks missed the tag, Carbo missed the plate, Burkhart missed the call — all in one play.

    RIP Ellie…

  33. Apparently Obermueller resigned to a minor league deal with us, I assume he will also get a spring training invitation.

    He’s athletic and has a good arm-not a bad AAA insurance policy/mopup guy but on the other hand not good enough to really worry about

  34. ububba, that play would be worth a day’s programming at ESPN if it happened now — complete with a Baseball Tonight studio replay. I’m seeing Kruk as Burkhart.

    Hey, how was Seattle?

  35. Bravo – an extremely entertaining thread so far. For all you last minute Christmas shoppers, there are still many ex-Braves on baseballreference.com whose pages do not have sponsors, including Andres Thomas and Paul Zuvella.

  36. How did Jr. cost the O’s all those games by playing? You mean instead of putting in those top-notch replacements at short that the O’s have always had? Ripken didn’t cost the Orioles games, the incompetent management (which even preceded Angelos) did that. If he didn’t play, they would have put in someone much worse. And I haven’t noticed that the O’s have been so much better since Jr. retired.

    It’s very sad about Elrod Hendricks. Whatever the truth is, the perception is that he was pushed out at a time when he was ill, by a team that collapsed anyway. How important is the bullpen coach anyway?

  37. Probably not going to happen, but if the Braves can pick up another SP they already have the best closer in the NL on the team.

  38. Oh, and shouldn’t the chart show a percentage or something, something that shows how the Braves closer salaries compared to league average salaries or league average reliever salaries. I want to think Al Pena was one of the highest paid relievers in the league in 1992…

  39. Joey Devine and Blaine Boyer? Is this a joke? We need at least one reliable veteran to be our closer or to be ready when Devine gives up his tenth grand slam.

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