Boston Red Sox Rumors: 2 free agent options that could fill the closer role

Kendall Graveman #31 of the Houston Astros (Photo by Michael Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Kendall Graveman #31 of the Houston Astros (Photo by Michael Zarrilli/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
Kendall Graveman #31 of the Houston Astros (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox free agent closer option No. 1: Kendall Graveman

Kendall Graveman came out of nowhere to establish himself as one of the most dominant relievers in the league this season. He was lights out for the Seattle Marines to open the season, and they gradually eased him into more save opportunities. Curiously enough though, he was dealt to the Houston Astros at the trade deadline, and the Mariners might have ended up missing the playoffs because of that decision.

With the Astros, Graveman served as the setup man to Ryan Pressly, and while he wasn’t as effective with Houston, he was still one of their top arms as they barreled their way to the World Series. Now Graveman is set for a nice raise this offseason.

The thing that makes Graveman a more ideal candidate for the Boston Red Sox is that he probably won’t be one of the first relivers targeted on the market. Iglesias and Kenley Jansen will probably command the market initially, with Craig Kimbrel potentially joining them depending on what the Chicago White Sox plan to do with his option. Graveman didn’t really function as a closer last season, but when he did he was dominant.

During his time with Seattle, Graveman had a 0.82 ERA to go with 10 saves. To put it another way, he was basically unhittable during the first half of the season. In fairness, he was pitching in one of the most pitcher friendly parks in the league in T-Mobile Park, but that shouldn’t detract from Graveman’s performance.

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The Sox got a firsthand look at Graveman in the ALCS, and he dominated them throughout the series. He pitched four innings, and only gave up two hits and two walks while striking out five. Considering Boston’s bullpen would falter in the late innings in all four of their losses, you can make an argument that Graveman was the missing piece in their quest for their next World Series banner.

They shouldn’t let the opportunity pass them this time around in free agency. Graveman will probably be cheaper than some of the other guys available, and he could instantly slide into the closer role. If the Boston Red Sox can secure either one of these guys in free agency, watch out, because this team is going to be tough to beat in the late innings.