Addison Reed should assume the closer role in Minnesota this season
One of the steadiest relievers of the past few seasons will have a new ballpark to call home in 2018. On Saturday, the Minnesota Twins signed Addison Reed to a two-year deal worth around $17 million total to be their closer in 2018. This is now Reed’s fifth different team in the last six seasons. He spent time with the White Sox, Mets, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox previously.
Reed served as the closer for the White Sox and Diamondbacks from 2012-2014 before losing his job in Arizona to Brad Ziegler in 2015. While he had some modest success as a closer, his 4.22 ERA and 1.22 WHIP weren’t exactly anything to write home about. Maybe that’s why a guy with a mid-90s heater lost his job to a soft-tossing submarine throwing reliever.
Since being traded to the Mets in the middle of the 2015 season, Reed has been one of the most productive relievers in the game. In 169 innings since the trade, Reed has registered a 2.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 9.8 K/9. He’s mostly been used as a reliever since the trade. However, he did save 19 games last season while Jeurys Familia served an 80-game suspension.
With Reed on board, the Twins upgrade an area that really needed a boost. In 2017, Minnesota’s bullpen ranked 22nd in ERA, 27th in opponents batting average, and 29th in K/9. In the closer role, Minnesota used Brandon Kintzler and his lackluster 5.4 K/9 for most of the season before dealing him to the Nationals. Striking out batters isn’t everything, but it makes a closer’s life a lot easier if he can punch a guy out when needed. Kintzler didn’t have that type of arsenal. Reed does.
The Twins also brought on Fernando Rodney last month, but we all know who the better closing option is here. Rodney is highly erratic and in the twilight of his career. He’ll likely vulture some saves here and there, but Reed is the player to own in this bullpen.
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So, how should we value Reed in 2018? He’s a closer and should be drafted, but don’t forget those mediocre numbers I mentioned earlier. It’s quite possible that he’s one of those relievers that is just better suited in a setup role. It takes a different mindset to be a closer, and some relievers just don’t have it. However, saves are valuable in any format, and we need to take them wherever we can get them.
Reed has the ability to be a top-20 closer. To reach that level, he’ll need to keep his ERA low and continue to strike out batters at a clip above 9.0 K/9. There’s some decent value here, but Reed is an RP2 at best in 2018. There are too many elite closer options, which means Reed isn’t even close to being on the RP1 radar.
According to early Fantrax ADP data, Reed is being taken as the RP33, around pick 300. Both of those will surely rise now.
I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members. Got a question that I didn’t cover here? Then follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask there.
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