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Closer Report for Week 16

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News and Notes From Around the Bullpen

  • The big news of the week came on Tuesday night as Francisco Rodriguez was traded to the Brewers for two players to be named later. It seemed clear when the trade happened that Rodriguez would be used in a setup role, severely limiting his value to fantasy owners. However, with news on Friday that the Brewers had managed to get K-Rod to agree to a change of his contract such that the option was no longer relevant, it is a bit murkier in Milwaukee. But the Brewers have used Axford in the 9th both of the last two games, with Rodriguez pitching the 8th in both games as well. I'm not super confident yet, but it looks like Axford will be the main option there.
  • Brandon League owners can feel a slight bit more secure in their ownership, as it was announced that David Aardsma would now require Tommy John surgery, and will be out for at least the remainder of the season. He went up a slight bit in my rankings as a result.
  • In New York, it isn't clear yet whether or not it will be Jason Isringhausen or Bobby Parnell that will get the majority of save opportunities, but I wouldn't really be surprised if it was Isringhausen. Long term, I think they have to try Parnell though, and will probably do so before the end of the season.
  • Ryan Madson was activated from the disabled list on Friday, and threw the 7th inning on Friday night, and in the 8th inning on Sunday. Bastardo was called on for the save on Sunday afternoon. I think that eventually Madson gets this job back, unless this happens....
  • The Phillies apparently have some interest in acquiring either Heath Bell or Mike Adams. I don't know about Adams, but if the Phillies were to get Bell, he would definitely take over as the closer for the team. The Padres' bullpen is full of quality arms, so I'd be interested to see who takes over if they are both moved.
  • Carlos Marmol has clearly had enough of being ranked in my top 5 for the rest of the year, as he was pulled on back-to-back days coming out of the All-Star Break. His line for those two games: 2 outs, 6 earned runs, 3 hits, 5 walks. Yeesh. Sean Marshall was called on to get the final out of Friday's game, and I would not be surprised if he was given the job in the interim. 
  • Joe Nathan was named as the replacement closer in Minnesota on Saturday, and recorded the save that night. I think the Twins will be a bit gun-shy to make another change, so Nathan should be owned in all leagues, and could return to form potentially. 
  • Trade rumors have begun flying about both Leo Nunez and Andrew Bailey, and while it doesn't appear likely yet that either will be traded, it is a situation to be monitored. Brian Fuentes or Grant Balfour seem the most likely candidates for saves in Oakland, while it is really anyone's guess who would in Florida.
My Rankings After the Jump... 


Closer Rankings from Today Forward [Change from Last Week]

  1. Brian Wilson (Giants) 
  2. Heath Bell (Padres
  3. Mariano Rivera (Yankees
  4. Huston Street (Rockies)
  5. Joel Hanrahan (Pirates) [+4] 
  6. Leo Nunez (Marlins)
  7. Jonathan Papelbon (Red Sox
  8. Neftali Feliz (Rangers
  9. Joakim Soria (Royals) [+1]
  10. Craig Kimbrel (Braves) [+1]
  11. Carlos Marmol (Cubs) [-7]
  12. Drew Storen (Nationals) [+1]
  13. Jose Valverde (Tigers) [+1]
  14. Andrew Bailey (Athletics) [+2]
  15. Francisco Cordero (Reds)  [+2]
  16. Brandon League (Mariners) [+2]
  17. John Axford (Brewers) [-2]
  18. Chris Perez (Indians)  [+1]
  19. Kyle Farnsworth (Rays) [+1]
  20. Jordan Walden (Angels) [+1]
  21. Joe Nathan (Twins) [+5]
  22. Fernando Salas (Cardinals
  23. Sergio Santos (White Sox
  24. Mark Melancon (Astros)  
  25. Kevin Gregg (Orioles)  
  26. Frank Francisco (Blue Jays) [+1]
  27. Antonio Bastardo (Phillies)  [+1]
  28. David Hernandez (Diamondbacks) [+1]
  29. Javy Guerra (Dodgers) [+1]
  30. Bobby Parnell / Jason Isringhausen (Mets) [-18]
Top Non-Closing Relievers Most Likely to Get the Chance
  1. Mike Adams (Padres)
  2. Chad Qualls (Padres)
  3. Francisco Rodriguez (Brewers)
  4. Jon Rauch (Blue Jays)
  5. Grant Balfour (Athletics)

Trade Candidates Before July 31st
  1. Heath Bell
  2. Joakim Soria
  3. Mike Adams
  4. Jason Isringhausen
  5. Andrew Bailey