Six closer possibilities for 2005

This winter's free-agent crop provides slim pickings.

Originally Published: November 8, 2004
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
The Boston Red Sox addressed their ninth-inning blues with checkbook diplomacy last December, spending $21 million over three years to lure closer Keith Foulke from Oakland. A busted curse and a championship parade later, they're glad they did.

The New York Mets took a subtler, more cost-efficient approach to filling the void at the end of their bullpen, waiting until the Dec. 20 tender deadline passed and signing Braden Looper after Florida cut him loose. Looper converted 29 of 34 save opportunities and was a prudent investment for a franchise that hasn't had many of late.

Jerry Crasnick | email

ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer