[closing_time list_id=”23966″ season=”2018″ include_stats=”1″]
- With plenty of moves to be made over the next week leading to the trade deadline, this weeks publication of this list was one of the most difficult when factoring in the implications some of these potential trades may have. Tier one is basically the only tier where the deadline shouldn’t have an impact on those 7 closers. Then once we get into tier 2, it becomes another story. Seranthony Dominguez has been great this season, but it’s well known that the Phillies have been looking for bullpen help still. It doesn’t look like they are in on Zach Britton anymore so any move they make will likely be for a lesser valued reliever, possibly someone in tier 4. Keone Kela’s name has popped up in several rumors recently, with the Diamondbacks and Pirates both interested. He’d be a nice 8th inning option for Felipe Vazquez in Pittsburgh, while his role in Arizona is a little murkier. He’s probably a better option than Brad Boxberger but I don’t think he’d be given the job there, at least to start with. Hector Rondon’s future as closer becomes even more cloudy with the Astros all in on Zach Britton. That’s the one finalist for Britton that could actually keep his save only league value intact, so let’s give Britton about a 25% chance of being valuable in standard leagues a week from now. EDIT: it sounds like the Yankees will land him as soon as tonight.
- Two trades that have already happened over the past week have shaken up the rankings as well. There’s no clear cut winner in the Brad Hand trade, although it would be Kirby Yates if he avoids being traded himself. I know the plan is to keep Cody Allen in the closer role, but at some point (when Andrew Miller returns?), Terry Francona may have to make that swap and push Allen back down into more of a setup role. I’d hold onto Hand for a little while while Yates should still be added in all leagues despite the rumors he’ll be dealt. Craig Stammen and Phil Maton become interesting stashes in deeper leagues. Jeurys Familia was the other big named closer to be dealt, going to the Athletics where he should work exclusively as Blake Treinen’s set up man. The deal shouldn’t affect any relievers on Oaklands end, but Robert Gsellman value obviously gets a boost as he gets to act solely as the Mets closer.
- AJ Minter has been doing a respectable job filling in for Arodys Vizcaino, and at this point could be considered the Braves full time closer. Vizcaino won’t even start throwing again for another 2-3 weeks and it could be over a month before we see him on an MLB mound again. Minter is definitely worth an add with the upside he brings. Sean Doolittle foot injury is worse than initially expected and could keep him out for a large chunk of August. Kelvin Herrera now becomes a must add in most formats, especially for those hurting in the saves department. Brandon Morrow is also dealing with another injury, this time bicep soreness, which is never a good sign for a pitcher. He isn’t expected to miss too much time, but the Cubs aggressiveness to add a top-notch reliever could be a sign that they are worried about his health going forward.