2022 Reliever Rankings

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The App is Back! Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news, mobile alerts and track your favorite players. Plus, now you can check out articles and player cards. Get it here!

Up this week are my just-for-fun 2022 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams if those options have a legitimate chance of being exercised. Those players are noted with asterisks.

Click to see other other preliminary 2022 rankings:

Top 300 | SP | RP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH

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Relief pitcher rankings

2022

RP

Team

2021

July

1

Liam Hendriks

White Sox

1

1

2

Josh Hader

Brewers

3

2

3

Craig Kimbrel

Cubs*

13

5

4

Aroldis Chapman

Yankees

4

3

5

Edwin Diaz

Mets

2

7

6

Raisel Iglesias

6

6

7

Ryan Pressly

Astros

8

4

8

Matt Barnes

Red Sox

28

8

9

Kenley Jansen

7

9

10

Alex Reyes

Cardinals

27

11

11

James Karinchak

Indians

5

15

12

Mark Melancon

44

10

13

Taylor Rogers

Twins

22

16

14

Brad Hand

9

14

15

Will Smith

Braves

14

13

16

Julian Merryweather

Blue Jays

166 SP

30

17

Gregory Soto

Tigers

41

34

18

Kendall Graveman

NR

22

19

Josh Staumont

Royals

60

43

20

Ken Giles

Mariners

NR

NR

21

Emmanuel Clase

Indians

54

12

22

Pete Fairbanks

Rays

17

41

23

Anthony Bender

Marlins

NR

50

24

Diego Castillo

Rays

19

18

25

Richard Rodriguez

Pirates

26

19

26

Giovanny Gallegos

Cardinals

20

25

27

Tejay Antone

Reds

109 SP

33

28

Devin Williams

Brewers

16

37

29

Lucas Sims

Reds

40

39

30

Jordan Romano

Blue Jays

10

17

31

Hector Neris

15

27

32

Daniel Bard

Rockies

31

31

33

J.B. Bukauskas

Diamondbacks

NR

90

34

Jonathan Loaisiga

Yankees

107 SP

55

35

Nick Anderson

Rays

77

84

36

Tyler Rogers

Giants

29

20

37

Lou Trivino

Athletics

NR

21

38

Trevor Rosenthal

11

NR

39

Seth Lugo

Mets

47

38

40

Chad Green

Yankees

39

51

41

Adam Ottavino

33

52

42

Jake McGee

Giants

35

26

43

Jordan Hicks

Cardinals

36

NR

44

Alex Colome

23

53

45

Scott Barlow

Royals

45

40

46

Drew Pomeranz

Padres

25

48

47

Ian Kennedy

65

24

48

Roberto Osuna

71

NR

49

Ryan Tepera

95

71

50

Matt Cronin

Nationals

NR

NR

51

J.P. Feyereisen

Rays

NR

28

52

Blake Treinen

Dodgers

83

44

53

Heath Hembree

NR

NR

54

Emilio Pagan

Padres

12

42

55

Brusdar Graterol

Dodgers

55

NR

56

Kirby Yates

NR

NR

57

Andrew Kittredge

Rays

111

54

58

Yimi Garcia

53

23

59

Hunter Harvey

Orioles

NR

60

60

Demarcus Evans

Rangers

NR

NR

61

Michael Lorenzen

149 SP

77

62

Amir Garrett

Reds

18

32

63

Mike Mayers

Angels

56

69

64

Tanner Rainey

Nationals

37

NR

65

Joakim Soria

21

35

66

Jimmy Nelson

NR

82

67

Jose Alvarado

Phillies

79

29

68

Jose Cisnero

Tigers

110

NR

69

Andres Munoz

Mariners

NR

70

Michael Fulmer

Tigers

NR

56

71

Aaron Bummer

White Sox

46

63

72

Codi Heuer

White Sox

91

NR

73

Austin Adams

Padres

98

NR

74

Jose Leclerc

Rangers

NR

NR

75

Hansel Robles

NR

46

76

Nick Sandlin

Indians

NR

66

77

Seranthony Dominguez

Phillies

NR

NR

78

Jonathan Hernandez

Rangers

48

NR

79

Collin McHugh

118 SP

149 SP

80

Archie Bradley

73

83

81

David Bednar

Pirates

NR

68

82

Paul Sewald

Mariners

NR

NR

83

Josh James

Astros

115

NR

84

Jake Diekman

Athletics*

89

47

85

Joely Rodriguez

Rangers*

69

49

  • The Red Sox just took care of Matt Barnes, but there will still be some interesting closers in free agency this winter, including Raisel Iglesias, Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon, Brad Hand and maybe Craig Kimbrel, depending on how he finishes up and perhaps what team he’s traded to. Kimbrel’s contract includes a $16 million option for next year with a $1 million buyout (which could increase to $2 million).

  • Of the rest of the free agents, Kendall Graveman seems like the best bet to me to land a closer gig this winter. I suspect Hector Neris will, too, if he bounces back some in the second half, as I imagine he will. Then there are the rehabbing Trevor Rosenthal and Kirby Yates if they can convince teams they’re healthy.

  • A non-free agent who rates as a sneaky pickup here is Ken Giles. The Mariners signed him to a two-year deal after his Tommy John. He’ll have had a full 18 months to recover come next Opening Day, so he should be very much in the running for the closer gig. The Mariners also have Andres Munoz as a possible long-term closer. He underwent Tommy John in March 2020 and was picked up afterwards from the Padres in the Aaron Nola deal.

  • The one true prospect included here is Matt Cronin at No. 50. A 2019 fourth-round pick, he’s fanned 41 in 23 innings between high-A and Double-A this year. He also might not have much in front of him with the Nationals. Also making the cut is Demarcus Evans, who has yet to establish himself in Texas. That’s a cloudy situation, as neither Jose Leclerc nor Jonathan Hernandez figure to be ready for Opening Day after undergoing Tommy John surgery early this year.