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Who is the New Padres Closer for 2024? Fantasy Baseball Saves Outlook

Josh Hader signed a five-year, $95 million deal with the Houston Astros during free agency. The star closer played for the San Diego Padres in the last two seasons, and his departure left a void in the Padres bullpen.

After Hader's departure, the franchise signed Japanese reliever Yuki Matsui to a five-year, $28 million deal. They also have Robert Suarez, who can also be the team's closer whenever required.

The Padres will begin the new season with a game in South Korea against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Who will be their closer in that game? Let's take a look at the team's bullpen situation ahead of the March 20 game against their division rivals.

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Who Will be the Padres Closer on Opening Day?

As per reports, Yuki Matsui will be the main closer for the team during the 2024 season. Robert Suarez will also finish some games for the Padres, but the 28-year-old Japanese star will be Josh Hader's direct replacement.

Hader had a phenomenal season last year, which is why he landed a lucrative deal with the Astros. In his first-ever season in MLB, Matsui will be under immense pressure to replicate Hader's output for the Friars. The Japanese product also dealt with back spasms during spring training but is now healthy to pitch against the Dodgers.

The NL West franchise is coming off a disappointing season in which they finished with a record of 82-80 and missed the playoffs. They have already lost star players like Hader, Juan Soto, and potentially Blake Snell as well during this offseason. It will be fascinating to see how they perform this upcoming season, as not many expect them to make any noise this year.


Yuki Matsui 2024 Fantasy Baseball Outlook

Before signing for the Padres, Yuki Matsui played 10 seasons in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. In his last year in the NPB, Matsui played for the Rakuten Golden Eagles and pitched 57.1 innings. In those innings, he gave up 38 hits, three home runs, and 14 runs while recording 72 strikeouts.

Matsui had an ERA of just 1.57 and averaged an impressive 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings while registering 39 saves. His numbers are almost identical to Hader's last season with the Padres, but there are still doubts about how good Matsui will be in MLB.

Robert Suarez, on the other hand, is fully healthy to start the season and is expected to have a big year for the Padres. The 33-year-old reliever will be a leader in the bullpen and will hope to improve on a disappointing 2023 campaign.

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