Tiers are an alternate form of rankings that’s less concerned with parsing individual players and more concerned with where the biggest drop-offs are. Players whose value is essentially the same are bundled together to help you prioritize which position to draft next. If the goal in a draft is to maximize the return of each pick, then a simple way to do so is to target a position that’s nearing a drop-off and wait on a position that isn’t. By crossing off names as you go, your path to victory should become clear.
Below are the relief pitcher tiers for 2024, with a particular emphasis on closers and their possible alternatives (where applicable). Things are looking up here, with more assurances to be found than at any time in recent memory. Most teams will have a clear front-runner for saves going into the season, and generally, those front-runners have come to be by merit rather than happenstance, which is why the top three tiers are so robust.
The Elite: Devin Williams, Josh Hader, Edwin Diaz
The Near-Elite: Emmanuel Clase, Camilo Doval, Jordan Romano, Raisel Iglesias, David Bednar, Alexis Diaz, Paul Sewald, Jhoan Duran
The Next-Best Things: Pete Fairbanks, Craig Kimbrel, Ryan Helsley, Andres Munoz, Tanner Scott, Evan Phillips, Kenley Jansen, Adbert Alzolay
The Fallback Options: Jose Alvarado, Clay Holmes, Jose Leclerc, Robert Stephenson
The Last Resorts: Mason Miller, Yuki Matsui, Alex Lange, Kyle Finnegan, Will Smith, Carlos Estevez, Justin Lawrence, John Brebbia
The Next-in-Line: Robert Suarez, Hector Neris, Bryan Abreu, Jason Adam, Matt Brash, Yennier Cano, Ryan Pressly, Brusdar Graterol, Hunter Harvey, David Robertson