Red Sox Need A Closer, And There Are Plenty To Choose From

Ryan Madson of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Two of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

As we have discussed here for the last few months, both on the site and on the podcast, there are far more relievers available than there are jobs for those relievers. The closer market was flooded this off-season (although nobody thought to stop and tell Ruben Amaro this), meaning it was a buyer's market. In addition to the closers who left their teams as free agents, there were a number of set-up men available who were either former closers, or looking to become one -- Matt Capps, Francisco Rodriguez, etc.

In a problem that this country seems to be able to relate to right now, there were more people available for a job than there were jobs available. This means that, even if the market exploded for relievers initially (it did), patience would be rewarded, as someone would eventually end up having to make sacrifices in order to be employed.

Alex Speier covered this fairly in-depth earlier this afternoon over at WEEI, explaining that there are basically four teams left looking for a closer, but far more options than that remaining. In between Speier's piece and right now, the Rockies entered the fray, but the Padres left it, thanks to the reported Huston Street trade.

The Red Sox would like to get Andrew Bailey in their own trade for a closer, but that's just one of many options. Jon Heyman also reported they are in on Ryan Madson, who, with the right offer, would likely love to avoid accepting arbitration with the Phillies tonight -- especially since he won't be closing there in 2012. Madson will not get anything close to what the Phillies almost gave him, especially given that he is now fighting for one of the few remaining closer's jobs along with many others.

The main point is that there are plenty of options available to close, even if it seems like they are all being snatched off of the table by the Mets in the middle of the night. Patience will be rewarded, as lower-cost options will arise from the remaining market. As the Red Sox aren't one piece away from being finished this winter, that's a worthwhile goal -- even if it makes watching the winter meetings' proceedings more aggravating.

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