It’s been a long time since the Seattle Mariners had a closer worth drafting in fantasy leagues. The last name that comes to mind is J.J. Putz. Since then, it’s been a carousel of no-name minor leagues or former stars from other teams. The Mariners thought they found their guy in Tom Wilhelmsen, but he didn’t last long.
Wilhelmsen struggled greatly in his second year. In just 59.0 innings, his ERA rose to 4.12 and had only 24 saves. His replacement would be a young, up-and-coming relief pitcher named Danny Farquhar.
In his first season with the Mariners, he had a 4.20 ERA in 55 2/3 innings, but recorded 16 saves. Wilhelmsen was optioned to the minor leagues in August, making Farquhar the closer for the remainder of the 2013 season.
Entering the 2014 season, many thought Farquhar would be the closer for the Mariners. However, the front office didn’t think so as they signed former Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney to a two-year deal. This pushed Farquhar back as the set-up man. Rodney had an excellent first season with the Rays, a 0.60 ERA, and 48 saves. though, the next year was disappointing. His ERA ballooned to 3.38, he had 11 less saves and walked more than double the batters from 15 in 2012 to 36 in 2013.
Farquhar will be looming in the background as Rodney takes the mound in the ninth inning. Farquhar has the greatest chance to go from set-up man to closer. Rodney will be 37 when the 2014 season starts while Farquhar is 10 years younger.
In drafts, select Farquhar as a good source of holds (if your league keeps track of holds) and ERA. He should also record a couple of saves throughout the season. If Rodney does struggle early, you will already have his replacement on your bench.