Ranking the 5 AL West closers entering the 2023 season
4) Jose Leclerc - Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers don't have a set closer as of now for the 2023 season. It's possible they sign someone in free agency, but it's also possible they use one of their internal options. If they do go internal, Jose Leclerc is likely their top choice as of now.
Leclerc looked like the Rangers' closer of the future with electric stuff but Tommy John Surgery kept him out of action for much of two seasons. Leclerc came back this past season and made 39 appearances for Texas. The results were encouraging.
A 2.83 ERA in 39 appearances to go along with a 3.71 FIP is definitely solid. The walks were high (4.0 BB/9) but so were the strikeouts (10.2 K/9). The fact that he doesn't have many innings in the last three seasons combined with not even having the closer spot secured is why he's low on this list.
3) Carlos Estevez - Los Angeles Angels
The Angels signed Estevez to a two-year deal this offseason in a deal I like. Estevez is a hard-thrower, something this Angels bullpen lacks, and seems to be only getting better. He's coming off his best season as he posted a 3.47 ERA in 62 appearances for Colorado.
The right-hander does not have extensive closing experience, saving 25 games in his six-year career, but he has saved 11 games in two separate seasons.
Estevez is a guy who was always punished by Coors Field (5.57 ERA) but pitched well on the road (3.51 ERA). It'll be interesting to see what he does pitching in a much better environment for pitchers for a full season. I'm expecting big things.