This article is part of our Rounding Third series.
Joba Chamberlain is why investing in "closers in waiting" is garbage. He blew his one chance tonight and probably won't get another chance.— Jeff Erickson (@Jeff_Erickson) June 8, 2014
I was overstating the case in the heat of the moment, as I've been frustrated in my pursuit of a second closer in the NFBC and thought that getting Joba on the cheap was going to be a big score for me. In fairness, the real takeaway is that speculating on these presumed closers in waiting is fraught with risk, and if you're paying a heavy price for these pitchers, you're likely not going to get a great return on investment. And that NFBC team is a perfect representation of that postulate. I've invested in Edward Mujica, Joe Smith, Chamberlain, and others that have netted me a grand total of three saves, all by Smith. Granted, I had a shot at Sean Doolittle and missed. But despite quite a lot of closer turnover this year, there's been precious few free agent successes in the reliever pool so far, and fewer still where the winning bidder paid full price (10 percent or more of their free agent budget).
My takeaway isn't to refrain from closer speculation - though life is a lot easier when you