The MLB lockout is still in effect and, while many fantasy baseball analysts choose to report nothing but doom and gloom, I remain optimistic. The owners are clearly not negotiating in good faith, but the MLBPA and baseball’s rank and file aren’t going to be able to hold out all year. We may not like it, but it’s the way of the world. My job, though, is to get you fully prepared for the impending fantasy baseball season. There will be one. It doesn’t matter if it’s 130 games or 140, there will be one and if you aren’t ready to hop into a draft room the moment a new CBA is ratified, you’re going to struggle. 

There are over 150 free agents still without homes, but not all of them are relevant to the fantasy game. Or at least not relevant enough to draft. That’s where this series falls in. So far we’ve covered the top five at each position and as you read through, you’ll easily see who you’re paying attention to and who can be left alone. The relief pitcher position is one of those where it’s not really flush with a key free agent, but there are a few to check out. 

Top 5 Unsigned Free Agents Relief Pitchers




Kenley Jansen is obviously the most important of the free-agent relievers as he will be the guy to get the saves no matter where he lands. He’s obviously had his ups and downs, given the heart condition and some time missed, but his overall numbers remain on-point. There’s some fluctuation in the peripherals, but nothing outlandish and he proved last year that he was happily putting 2019 and 2020 behind him. The expectation is that the Dodgers bring him back, but we’ve also heard some rumblings about Toronto. I’m expecting him to sign pretty quickly when the lockout ends, so continue to draft him at his 115.3 ADP. 



The well-traveled, 31-year-old southpaw is looking to rebound from an atrocious season where he split time between the Mets, Blue Jays, and Nationals and posted a 3.90 ERA, his worst since 2015 when the Marlins were still trying him out as a starter. He’s had some strong seasons since those days, but he’s bounced in and out of the closer’s role over the past two years and there’s no guarantee he lands a closing gig anywhere. He could still work his way into the mix of a committee situation, so don’t dismiss him, but a landing spot is going to be key if you are looking for saves. 





The veteran righty was enjoying a solid first half in 2021 as he was closing for the Pirates, but when Richard Rodríguez was dealt to the Braves, he landed in a set-up role and his value went down the toilet. He wasn’t bad, posting a 3.12 ERA, but his strikeout rate dropped to next-to-nothing and there was no point in holding him. He’ll likely land a set-up job somewhere and could push his way into a closing committee, but with a low K-rate, he’s not helping you in fantasy without saves.



Since leaving Arizona and falling into a set-up role, Archie Bradley doesn’t really possess much in the way of fantasy anymore. His K-rate is in decline and his peripherals point north, across the board. There is still the possibility he finds his way into the saves mix if he signs with a team struggling for bullpen arms, but there shouldn’t be any interest on Draft Day or in early waivers unless he actually does close a game or two.




Ryan Tepera, real name Dennis apparently,  is an interesting guy to watch because he still has some decent value as a middle reliever and he somehow manages to find himself in the mix for saves. We’re not talking about big-time closer potential, but his near-11.00 K/9 shows you that he can help augment your strikeouts and help keep your ratios in check while he waits his turn in the ninth. Again, not a guy I am drafting, but will keep him on a watch list if I am chasing saves on the wire once the season begins.

Where does Fantasy Alarm have these outfielders ranked? Full 2022 fantasy baseball player rankings from Jim Bowden, Adam Ronis, and Howard Bender can be found here in our Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.


Looking for the rest of the top unsigned free agents? This FREE series is in progress, but check out the links below for what's been published already: