Analysis

First Pitch: When Will Teams Come to Their Senses on Closers?

First Pitch: When Will Teams Come to Their Senses on Closers?

Sometimes when I write about the value of relief pitchers, I feel like a financial analyst pre-2006, warning people about the housing market. The prices paid for relief pitchers, especially closers, has gotten ridiculous. It feels like eventually that market is just going to collapse, and prices will bottom out. The strange thing is that it is so obvious that the prices paid to relievers are ridiculous, yet teams continue to pay those prices.

Baseball America rated left-handed pitcher Robbie Erlin the #34 prospect in their mid-season rankings last year. They rated right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler the #35 prospect. Wheeler fetched outfielder Carlos Beltran in a one-for-one swap. Erlin was paired with Joe Wieland in exchange for set-up man Mike Adams.

I like Mike Adams. He's a great reliever, and he's good enough to be a closer. But you're talking about a relief pitcher here. This is a guy who pitches one inning at a time, and doesn't even pitch in half of the team's games. Carlos Bel...

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Analysis
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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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