The Boston Red Sox need to add a closer this offseason, right?
No. Between Brandon Workman, Josh Taylor and Darwinzon Hernandez, Boston has three legitimate options heading into 2020.
But Dave Dombrowski – or whoever is president of baseball operations if Dombrowski loses his job – still must upgrade the bullpen in free agency.
The Red Sox, believe it or not, are in pretty decent shape for 2020 already, considering the emergence of Taylor and Hernandez, who is unlikely to return to starting.
Boston relievers have combined for a 2.78 ERA in 100 1/3 innings during August.
Workman has been terrific all year and has emerged as Boston’s closer down the stretch (eight saves). He has a .123 batting average against, the best among all major league relievers (minimum 6 innings). He has allowed just 24 hits and one homer in 59 innings.
Taylor has a 2.75 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .233 batting average against and five holds in 39 appearances (39 1/3 innings). He has posted a 1.40 ERA and .187 BAA in his past 26 outings (25 2/3 innings) dating to July 2. He also hasn’t allowed a run in his past 11 outings (11 innings).
Opposing batters are hitting just .211 with a .211 slugging percentage against Taylor’s sinker, which has averaged 94.9 mph, per Statcast. The opposition is batting .176 with a .221 slugging percentage vs. his slider (87.5 mph). His four-seamer (94.8 mph) has been hit the hardest (.305/.492).
Hernandez has a 2.53 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and 15.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 20 relief outings (21 1/3 innings). His WHIP is high because of walks.
His fastball has averaged 95.2 mph. The opposition is batting .200 with a .292 slugging percentage vs. the pitch, per Statcast. Opposing hitters are batting and slugging .231/.346 vs. his slider (82.7 mph).
The left-hander runs into trouble when he walks batters (15 walks, 21 1/3 innings).
Those are three closer options right there. The Red Sox don’t need to sign a closer in free agency. They need to pursue setup men.
The upcoming free-agent market includes some talented relievers such as Will Harris of the Astros  (1.64 ERA, 49 1/3 innings), Brandon Kintzler of the Cubs (2.49 ERA, 50 2/3 innings), Steve Cishek of the Cubs (3.31 ERA, 54 1/3 innings) and Hector Rondon of the Astros (3.75 ERA, 50 1/3 innings).
Collin McHugh of the Astros has had a down year but he was terrific in 2018. Manager Alex Cora and bullpen coach Craig Bjornson are very familiar with him.
Giants closer Will Smith (2.70 ERA, 30 saves, 56 2/3 innings) is a pending free agent. Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has an opt-out clause at the end of the season.
Cishek, a Falmouth, Massachusetts, native, certainly is an interesting option.
Dellin Betances of the Yankees, who hasn’t pitched this season with a right shoulder impingement and inflammation, is a pending free agent. He’s rehabbing and is expected to pitch in September.

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