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.
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
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.
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
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
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)
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
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
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)
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
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