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Closing Remarks: MLB Closer Report for Week 15

Matt Williams takes a look at how the trade deadline would impact fantasy owners, the head of a few closer committees, and the rest of the changes in the closer landscape this week in fantasy baseball.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Another week in fantasy baseball has given us of new leader of the pack in San Francisco, an injury that leads to opportunity in Detroit, and the resurgence of a beast in Pittsburgh. I will also take at look at the looming trade deadline and what fantasy owners should do to prepare for the inevitable change in the closer landscape. Every week I will break down what changed in the land of fantasy baseball relief pitching, as well as update my closer rankings. Let’s take a look at the news and notes in this week’s Closing Remarks: MLB Closer Report.

Prepare for the Trade Deadline

It’s July folks, and that means the All-Star break is near and the Trade Deadline is just around the corner. You should prepare ahead of time for closers that could be on the move to a different city. It’s possible some of these pitchers could increase in value, but it’s also likely most of them will lose value altogether. Let’s take a look at some of the pitchers who may be moved, and what you should do to prepare.

Blake Treinen

For the record, I do not expect Treinen to be traded, especially with how well the A’s have been playing of late. However, I feel I have to mention him here because Oakland is always rebuilding, while looking to maximize the value of their assets. If Treinen were to be put on the market, he would command a massive return, perhaps one the A’s would be forced to accept. If would likely take a “Godfather” like offer to sway them though.

The Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians would both be great landing spots for Treinen (as far as real life goes), as their closers are due to be free agents this off-season. Unfortunately for Treinen owners this season, that would mean being demoted to a setup role in either of those scenarios.

Who to grab if he gets traded: Lou Trivino

Rasiel Iglesias

Iglesias has three years remaining of team control and should command a haul if traded. For that same reason, it makes plenty of sense for the Reds to simply keep their guy. Iglesias has been linked in several trade rumors so far, so it would be silly to ignore them.

He would have a chance to close somewhere if moved (Houston perhaps), but there would still be a strong possibility that he could lose a ton of value if the wrong team acquires him.

Who to grab if he gets traded: Hard to say, it should be Jared Hughes, but it seems possible that both he and Amir Garrett get moved as well. This situation bears watching.

Brad Hand

The only thing that could hold back a Brad Hand trade is the astronomical asking price that has been reported. It seems when the Red Sox came calling about the lefty they were told that Rafael Devers would need to be in the deal. That is steep.

Still, the closing southpaw should retain a ton of interest on the market. It’s hard to imagine he would close if traded, especially as a left-hander. If he were to get moved it’s very possible it would be to a left-handed setup role on a contending ball club like the Dodgers or Yankees. Be prepared, Hand owners. You may want to consider fielding offers for the Padres closer ahead of time in your league. Don’t “sell low” by any means, but be aggressive. The Padres signed him to a three-year extension and do not have to move him. However, if a fantasy owner is willing to pay full price and you have other options, go for it. He may not be worth much soon if he hits the road.

Who to grab if he gets traded: Kirby Yates

Jeurys Familia

Familia is 100% going to be traded. This is a certainly. The only thing for fantasy owners to think about is if there is a chance he lands in the ninth inning on his new team. The answer is, probably not.

Houston is the most likely contender to add to their bullpen that could use a “closer”, but other than that most the relievers being moved would fall into a setup role. If you can find an owner that’s in desperate need of saves, now would be a great time to trade Familia for 50 cents on the dollar.

Who to grab if he gets traded: Robert Gsellman

Zach Britton

Like Familia, Britton is 100% likely to be traded this month (barring injury). The former All-Star would have a decent chance to close if moved, depending on the situation. He has been linked to several teams, with Houston or even the Angels being the preferred landing spot for Britton owners.

However, like most of the relievers on this list he is a risk going into the trade deadline and it would be wise to try and trade him away before his value plummets. If he ends up in Cleveland, New York (Yankees), or Seattle, his standard league value would be gone.

Who to grab if he gets traded: Mychal Givens (Brad Brach should get traded too)

Keone Kela

I am not sure how likely Kela is to get traded, but the Rangers are likely to be in “rebuild mode.” It would make all the sense in the world to take advantage of a team in need of a reliever and move Kela to recoup as much talent as possible for a rebuilding effort.

The bottom line here is that I don’t see the Rangers moving their young closer. The market is not exactly bare, so they would be unlikely to receive an over that forces their hand. In the event that Kela is traded, he would lose all value in standard leagues as he would stand very little chance to close on a contending team.

Who to grab if he gets traded: Jose LeClerc

Kyle Barraclough

The Marlins have said publicly that they have “no plans” to trade either Barraclough or Steckenrider. Well, we don’t believe you. At least, not entirely. Kyle Barraclough has proven he can be an effective closer at the major league level.

What good does that do the Marlins? None. In fact, all it does is increase the raise he will require in arbitration. So, color me confused if Miami does not try to cash in on their young right-hander and bring back some much needed talent to the Marlins organization. It would be unlikely that Barraclough would close if he were to be moved to a team like the Dodgers or Indians, losing all value in standard leagues.

Who to grab if he gets traded: Drew Steckenrider

Joakim Soria

Simply put, if Soria gets traded he will lose all fantasy value.

Who to grab if he gets traded: Bruce Rondon

The Closer Rankings & Tiers

*I have added “Next In Line” into the closer rankings. This should be a tool useful to those in holds leagues, as well as when there is an injury or trade.

The Cream of the Crop

Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees

Chapman was removed from the game Saturday night with left knee discomfort. The injury not considered serious, but the situation bears watching.

Next In Line: Dellin Betances, David Robertson

Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox

Next In Line: Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes

Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners

Next In Line: Alex Colome, Juan Nicaiso

Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers

Next In Line: Scott Alexander (Josh Fields on DL)

The Elite

Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals

Next In Line: Kelvin Herrera, Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson

Blake Treinen, Oakland Athletics

Next In Line: Lou Trivino, Ryan Butcher, Yusmeiro Petit

The Next Best Thing

Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds

Next In Line: Jared Hughes, Wandy Peralta* (minors), Michael Lorenzen

Brad Hand, San Diego Padres

Next In Line: Kirby Yates, Craig Stammen, Kazushisa Makita

Corey Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers

Next In Line: Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress

Brandon Morrow, Chicago Cubs

Next In Line: C.J. Edwards, Pedro Strop

Solid Options

Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians

Next In Line: Neil Ramirez

Felipe Vasquez, Pittsburgh Pirates

Next In Line: Kyle Crick

Keone Kela, Texas Rangers

Next In Line: Jose LeClerc, Alexander Caludio, Jake Diekman

Fernando Rodney, Minnesota Twins

Next In Line: Addison Reed, Trevor Hildenberger

Arodys Vizcaino, Atlanta Braves

Vizcaino returned from the disabled list and will slide right back into the ninth inning as the primary closer. It is worth noting that in a non-save situation on Saturday, Vizcaino was brought in during the eighth. It was AJ Minter who was called on the pitch the ninth inning. Braves manager Brian Snitker mentioned after that game that he simply like the match ups for Vizcaino in the eighth. Still, it is worth keeping an eye on fantasy owners.

Next In Line: Dan Winkler, A.J. Minter

The “Meh” Tier

Bud Norris, St. Louis Cardinals

Next In Line: Jordan Hicks

Hector Rondon, Houston Astros

Next In Line: Ken Giles, Chris Devenski, Brad Peacock

Kyle Barraclough, Miami Marlins

Next In Line: Drew Stekenrider

Wade Davis, Colorado Rockies

Next In Line: Adam Ottavino, Jake McGee

Brad Boxberger, Arizona Diamondbacks

Next In Line: Archie Bradley, Yoshihisa Hirano

Seranthony Dominguez, Philadelphia Phillies *commitee

Victor Arano picked up the save on Saturday, adding to the headache of Seranthony owners. This situation will be left in “committee” still , even though Dominguez picked up the previous six save chances.

Next In Line: Victor Arano, Tommy Hunter, Edubray Ramos

Jeurys Familia, New York Mets

Next In Line: Robert Gsselman, Anthony Swarzak

Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles

Next In Line: Brad Brach, Mychal Givens

Will Smith, San Francisco Giants

Smith seems like the closer in San Francisco, but it hard to all his job “secure” by any means. Still, he is the guy right now and it does not seem to be a committee. Pick up the Fresh Prince if somehow still available.

Next In Line: Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson

The Runts of the Litter

Joakim Soria, Chicago White Sox

Next In Line: Bruce Rondon, Jace Fry

Blake Parker, Los Angeles Angels

Next In Line: Justin Anderson, Cam Bedrosian

Tyler Clippard, Toronto Blue Jays

Next In Line: Seung-Hwan Oh, John Axford

Joe Jimenez, Detroit Tigers

Next In Line: Alex Wilson

Sergio Romo, Tampa Bay Rays

Next In Line: Jose Alvarado, Chaz Roe

Wily Peralta, Kansas City Royals *commitee

Next In Line: Kevin McCarthy, Brandon Maurer

On The Mend

Keynan Middleton, Los Angeles Angels (out for the season)

Hunter Strickland, San Francisco Giants

Nate Jones, Chicago White Sox

Shane Greens, Detroit Tigers

Andrew Miller, Cleveland Indians

Josh Fields, Los Angeles Dodgers

Ryan Tepera, Toronto Blue Jays


Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays