One week to go before the MLB trade deadline and just like last week, there were two moves that have a direct impact for fantasy owners looking for saves. The first being the deal the Royals made to acquire Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter. Maurer was finally starting to settle in and had been one of the better producing RP’s over the last month, so moving into a set-up role in Kansas City is a blow to owners not in holds leagues, where he can be dropped now. Anthony Swarzak, who was in line for some save chances potentially for the White Sox also was moved, leaving closing duties solely to *sigh* Tyler Clippard. He is still almost impossible to recommend outside of the deepest of leagues.
TIER 1: Nothing Compares 2 U
- Kenley Jansen showed he indeed is vulnerable, as he let up a 3 run HR to Matt Adams on Sunday which resulted in his first blown save of the season. He still is without question the best closer in baseball.
TIER 2: Save Tonight
- 3 lefties start of Tier 2, with one of the biggest surprises of the season atop the group. While Aroldis Chapman and Zach Britton have battles injuries for large portions of the year, Felipe Rivero has been absolutely lights out for the Pirates and is making a name for himself as one of the games best one relievers. He and Edwin Diaz have been the most productive closers since the All-Star break and despite an inflated xFIP, Rivero should stay locked in as a borderline elite RP option for fantasy owners.
- The only guy in this tier not currently on a team fighting for a playoff spot would be Rasiel Iglesias. It says something about just how good he has been this season that he continues to be a very solid RP option despite the Reds losing ways. Theres a chance, probably about 3%, that he is traded in the next week, but even staying put he is a must own and started option going forward.
TIER 3: Bound for the Floor
- While Brad Hand is the “next in line” option for the Padres, he isn’t expected to stick with the team much longer leaving three potential closing options in San Diego. The most likely would be Kirby Yates, who was plucked off waivers at the beginning of the season and has since been one of the best swing and miss relievers in the game. The dark horse would be Phil Maton, a young fireballer who only just made his MLB debut June 11th. He does have plus stuff and is probably the Padres closer of the future, but may not be deemed ready for the role yet. The last option would be Carter Capps, who has been better lately in AAA, but still hasn’t seen his typical fastball velocity which is obviously a big concern for his long-term outlook.
- Justin Wilson also seems like someone who will be dealt in the coming days, leaving a fairly large hole at the back-end of the Tigers bullpen. That hole will probably be filled by Bruce Rondon, at least until Joe Jimenez is ready to take over. This situation is really interesting because both flash dominant ability, with each showing high strikeout potential to go along with low ratios, possibly. Both need to tighten up their command a bit, but could produce a nice 1-2 punch at the end of games if everything works out.
TIER 4: Better Days (and the Bottom Drops Out)
- Jim Johnson and Santiago Casilla have not been very effective and both may be traded soon. Owners should be prepared to move on from both. There still hasn’t been much clarity regarding St. Louis and Texas’s closer situations. Trying to move away from Seung Hwan Oh, both Brett Cecil and Trevor Rosenthal have blown saves, and Mike Matheny has yet to commit to who will get the next chance. Alex Claudio keeps getting the bulk of save opportunities for the Rangers, but I find it hard to imagine they won’t be dishing out chances to Keone Kela, Jose Leclerc and/or maybe Matt Bush still.