Who Could Close Games For The Angels in 2013?

By Jason Evans

Ernesto Frieri came in like a shooting star and then like a shooing star in the second half fizzled out to a 4.50 ERA. GM Jerry Dipoto made a great trade in picking him up from the San Diego Padres for Alexi Amarista and Donn Roach. He came in and didn’t give up a run for two months and then imploded in the second half, especially down the stretch. I think the Angels may be wise in investing in a closer and then moving Frieri into a set up roll. Here are a few targets that they could go after.

September 30, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher

Ernesto Frieri

(49) throws to the Texas Rangers in the ninth inning at Rangers Ballpark . The Angels won beating the Rangers 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

Rafael Soriano: This is on the assumption that he declines his option with the Yankees which he probably will. Soriano stepped in for the Yankees when Mariano Rivera got hurt and put up 42 saves with a 2.26 ERA. Soriano has the experience in the pennant race closing games and with $68 million coming off the books they could invest part of that money here.

Ryan Madson and Joakim Soria: Yes Madson and Soria are both coming off of Tommy John surgery which is why I lumped them together. Both have closing experience and both could be signed for a cheap one year deal with an option for the second year with more money for the second year.

Jonathan Broxton: I think he’d probably be last choice for external options, either him or Fernando Rodney though I can’t see Rodney being brought back. Broxton has plenty of experience and did close for part of the year in the American League.

The Angels could stick with Frieri or try Jordan Walden again as the closer. I don’t think the Angels will go that way, however you can bet there will be some changes in the bullpen that was a big problem at certain times last year.