So Julian Tavarez is the front-runner to be the Red Sox closer.
As I shake my head and mutter to myself, letís look at this from a fantasy perspective first. Even if Tavarez is officially named Bostonís closer, heís still not worth more than a buck or two, and he shouldnít be taken until the final rounds of a straight draft.
Thereís so much not to like here. Tavarez doesnít have the dominance a big-league closer needs. Heck, his 5.11 K/9 last year wasnít even league-average, much less closer-worthy. Tavarezí control isnít exactly impeccable, either. He walked 44 in 98 2/3 innings last season. Thatís obviously way too many for a ninth-inning pitcher.
As for mental makeup -- the ďguileĒ Ron Shandler speaks of -- well, thatís a laugh. Tavarezí mercurial moodiness is not a good trait for a closer to have. Ice water doesnít run through his veins -- more like Tabasco sauce. This is a disaster waiting to happen.
Saves are saves, but donít expect Tavarez to get many of them. He wonít last long as a closer.
From a real-life perspective, making Tavarez the closer is even more exasperating. The Sox spend $140 million, and they canít find a stud to nail down the ninth inning? The Sox can spend $50 million just to talk to someone, but they canít afford a quality closer?