MLB: Ranking the Top 10 Closers in Baseball Right Now

12 of 13

Just Missing:

# 1Jim JohnsonBaltimore Orioles.

Oct 11, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Jim Johnson (43) pitches against the New York Yankees during the thirteenth inning of game four of the 2012 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. Orioles won 2-1 after thirteen innings. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Coming out of nowhere last season was Jim Johnson, who put up and American League best fifty one saves.  Don’t get me wrong it was a great season for Johnson and the Orioles, but he just doesn’t have the background to be considered one of the best – elite, no less – closers in baseball.  He’s still relatively young, but until we get another one, maybe two seasons of him as the closer, it looks more like a fluke than a trend, as his club won a LOT of one run games, and he’s not really a strike thrower — he throws well under a strikeout per inning.  Couple that with the fact that he pitches in the American League East, and the stats don’t exactly look like they’re in his favor.

# 2 – Brian WilsonFree Agent.

Wilson has been a dominant closer over the last few years, but he just missed this list as a result of multiple reasons; he’s still a free agent.  He’s still recovering from his second Tommy John Surgery, and he failed to impress any prospective club over the spring, so his options are very thin at this point.

Hopefully he finds a club soon, and can be healthy again, as he has some of the most dominant stuff in the game.
# 3Jose ValverdeFree Agent

Oct 24, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Jose Valverde (46) throws against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of game one of the 2012 World Series at AT

The last time we saw him, we had no idea no idea what was happening, as he gave up a ridiculous nine earned runs off of eleven hits in only 2.2 innings of work during the Tigers’ 2012 playoff run, which resulted in Valverde being pegged with an ERA of 30.38.

Despite his monumental collapse, he’s still one of the best closers in baseball, and only missed because I honestly don’t think were going to see him pitch in 2013.  Maybe in a relief capacity, but it might take a whole lot of convincing on his part to get picked up by a new team, let alone be instated as its closer.