As we move closer to the trade deadline, this could be the last time we see Ryan Tepera in a Cubs uniform, as the Cubs are expected to move a bunch of their veterans in the next day. No matter where he lands, Tepera should figure into a high leverage role, and could potentially even get a boost if he lands in a spot desperate for late-inning help. If Tepera and closer Craig Kimbrel are both moved, that leaves the Cubs bullpen very thin, with just Rex Brothers and Rowan Wick (rehab assignment) left as logical closer options. Daniel Hudson was the other prominent setup man who could be on the move, but after he was placed on the Covid-IL, that becomes more unlikely I would imagine.
- Despite being one game out of a playoff spot, the Mariners decided to ship closer Kendall Graveman to the divisional rival Astros on Tuesday, a team desperate to retool its bullpen. While it hurts Gravemans value in save-only leagues, this shouldn’t affect him much in SV+HLD leagues as he should slide into a setup role, even with the team acquiring another reliever (see below) yesterday. In Seattle, Paul Sewald should step in as the team’s closer with Drew Steckenrider moving up to the top setup spot.
- The Athletics have been one of the more aggressive teams so far at the deadline, and the first to make a big splash for a reliever by acquiring Andrew Chaffin. I talked above about the Cubs bullpen situation moving forward, but as far as how Chafin fits into Oakland’s bullpen, I’d imagine he takes away some holds from Jake Diekman and Yusmeiro Petit, but it shouldn’t affect those two all that much.
- The Reds have also been very active in looking to strengthen their bullpen, going out and adding Luis Cessa, Justin Wilson, and Mychal Givens. Givens is the big get here, as he should slide right into a high leverage role (possible closer?) and finally gets to escape Coors Field. The Reds bullpen will be crowded in two weeks once they get their injured reliever back, but it should turn this bullpen into a strength.
- The Astros also added reliever Yimi García from the Marlins as the Astros continue to bolster their bullpen. It’s not a great fit for García however, as I have concerns about him moving to that ballpark with his flyball tendencies and the amount of hard contact he allows. His presence still bumps Ryne Stanek and Brooks Raley down. In Miami, it remains to be seen who slides into the closer role, but Anthony Bender provides the most upside there, but Dylan Floro had settled into the eighth inning role there and Anthony Bass was originally brought in to close out games.
- With Daniel Hudson landing on the IL and Brad Hand struggling and potentially on the move, I suppose we should speculate on the future of the Nationals bullpen. Tanner Rainey returns from the IL today, and while things have not been going well for Rainey this season, perhaps the extended time off helps refresh him and his arm for the final two months. Remember that he was one of the best relievers in baseball last season. If Rainey continues to struggle, Kyle Finnegan is likely the next man up in that bullpen and while he does have an above-average slider, there’s not a whole lot to really get excited about here.
- The Diamondbacks decided to go with Tyler Clippard to close out the Rangers yesterday, opting to use Joakim Soria in the eighth where he picked up a hold. Arizona is in sell mode this deadline and it’s possible we see both of these relievers moved by tomorrow afternoon. Clippard has been limited to just three innings this season, but he’s coming off a solid 2020 and could be an asset down the stretch depending on how things shake out for him and the team.
Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)