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Closer Report: Paradise lost

Andy Behrens
Yahoo Sports

Jonathan Broxton owners, you really couldn't have asked for more. If you invested in the gigantic reliever back in March, you've already turned a filthy profit. Broxton delivered 23 saves over his four months in Kansas City, somehow maintaining a 2.27 ERA despite a 1.40 WHIP. He was one of the great don't-pay-for-saves success stories of 2012.

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Jonathan Broxton's closer run in KC was short and sweet. (AP)

But today, you have to let Broxton go. He's been flipped to Cincinnati, where he'll join Sean Marshall in the setup parade for closer Aroldis Chapman. The Royals could certainly afford to move a reliever or two, as they have a pile of talent in the bullpen already (plus more on the way, since this kid is now on his way to KC).

If you can only make one save-chasing pickup today, Greg Holland is the priority add. He'll reportedly get the first crack at the ninth, post-Broxton. Holland has been pitching the eighth inning for the Royals this season, so the context clues were leading to him prior to the deadline. He's been terrific this month — 13.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 17 Ks — and some of you will recall that he was closing in the final weeks of 2011, too. Aaron Crow and Kelvin Herrera both have closing-quality stuff — Herrera's average fastball velocity is the best in the majors (98.7) — but they're merely handcuffs at the moment.

Grab Holland wherever you can — he's available in 83 percent of Yahoo! leagues — then please join us in the comments section to complain about the Giants, the Brewers, and whoever else …

(Reminder: The "ranks" below are about the relative certainty of each team's closer situation. We're not rating the talent of each pitcher).

Job Security Index

30. MilwaukeeJohn Axford, Kameron Loe, Francisco Rodriguez
29. San FranciscoSantiago Casilla, Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt
28. Minnesota — Glen Perkins & Jared Burton
27. Houston — Wilton Lopez, Wesley Wright, Francisco Cordero
26. New York Mets — Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch
25. Kansas City — Greg Holland, Aaron Crow, Kelvin Herrera
24. Miami — Steve Cishek, Heath Bell, Mike Dunn
23. Chicago Cubs — Carlos Marmol, Shawn Camp, James Russell
22. Boston — Alfredo Aceves, Vicente Padilla
21. Chicago White Sox — Addison Reed, Brett Myers, Matt Thornton
20. Detroit — Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit
19. Seattle — Tom Wilhelmsen, Stephen Pryor
18. Los Angeles Angels — Ernesto Frieri, LaTroy Hawkins
17. Washington — Tyler Clippard, Sean Burnett, Drew Storen
16. Arizona — J.J. Putz, David Hernandez
15. Toronto — Casey Janssen, Darren Oliver
14. Baltimore — Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop
13. Tampa Bay — Fernando Rodney, Joel Peralta, Kyle Farnsworth
12. Colorado — Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle
11. Oakland — Ryan Cook, Grant Balfour
10. St. Louis — Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs
9. Cleveland — Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano
8. New York Yankees — Rafael Soriano, David Robertson
7. Pittsburgh — Joel Hanrahan, Jason Grilli
6. San Diego — Huston Street, Luke Gregerson, Dale Thayer
5. Cincinnati — Aroldis Chapman, Jonathan Broxton, Sean Marshall
4. Los Angeles Dodgers — Kenley Jansen, Brandon League
3. Texas — Joe Nathan, Mike Adams
2. Atlanta — Craig Kimbrel, Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters
1. Philadelphia — Jonathan Papelbon, Josh Lindblom

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Milwaukee's Kameron Loe had an opportunity to earn a save on Monday, entering in the ninth inning with a runner on base, one-out and his team ahead 8-5. But Loe issued a walk to the first batter he faced, then gave up an RBI double. John Axford then picked up a two-out save, though he didn't earn style points (sac fly, HBP, ground out). The Milwaukee 'pen remains a mess, but no one has stepped up to claim the job that Axford keeps trying to give away. K-Rod has given up 10 runs in his last four appearances, so he can't be trusted, either.

Francisco Cordero has been absolutely brutal in his return to the NL, blowing three saves in as many chances and allowing nine hits, eight runs and four walks in his 4.0 innings with the Astros. He pitched the seventh inning for Houston on Monday (badly), so you have to assume that he's out of the saves picture at the moment.

Seattle dealt Brandon League to the Dodgers on Monday, then called up Stephen Pryor and Carter Capps on Tuesday. Just check the minor league K-rates for that pair: Pryor, Capps. These are hard-throwers who figure to pile up strikeouts. The M's bulllpen should be plenty entertaining.

Santiago Casilla has been mostly miserable since mid-June, allowing 13 runs (11 earned) over his last 15 appearances, dating back to June 22. He's struck out 21 batters during that stretch, but his opponents' OPS is 1.071. And that ain't good. Unfortunately for the Giants, Sergio Romo has been hit hard in back-to-back outings as well, giving up six hits, six runs and two homers in his last two appearances. I've got nothing nice to say about the Giants 'pen right now, so let's move on …

Scott Downs is headed to the disabled list with a shoulder strain, so you won't find his name in the grid above. Downs has had an excellent season, but July has been a bit rough (9.00 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 6 BB in 9.0 IP). Hisanori Takahashi has been recalled to replace him.
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