With the trade deadline creeping closer, it is time to take a look at how some potential deals could impact teams bullpen situations. Closers Justin Wilson, Addison Reed and AJ Ramos seem the most likely closers to be traded. Wilson would be a Tier 2 hold’s option wherever he ends up most likely, with Bruce Rondon probably winding up as the Tigers new closer. He’s not someone to get overly excited about just yet. Reed moving could see rookie Paul Sewald see time as the Mets closer until Jeurys Familia returns. Reed, like Wilson, would move into the 2nd tier on this list. Ramos is more of a Tier 3 hold’s option probably, and who knows who takes over closing duties in Miami if he were to be dealt. Kyle Barraclough was the most likely option before winding up on the DL.
TIER 1: Good Vibrations
- Andrew Miller just continues to churn out positive fantasy weeks for owners while the other 2 in this tier had some struggles. Chris Devenski has now allowed 3 HR in his last 3 outings (3.1 IP) but outside of that he has been fine. Dellin Betances continues to allow baserunners at a much higher clip than he’s accustomed to. He’s likely to right the ship completely still, but he has little room for error with a now stacked Yankees bullpen.
TIER 2: I’ll Be There For You
4. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)
9. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)
10. Keone Kela (Texas Rangers)
13. Pat Neshek (Colorado Rockies)
- In his first game back from the DL, Arodys Vizcaino struggled to get two outs, allowing 3 hits and a run in the process. He has settled down in his last two outings, allowing 0 baserunners over 2 innings. Even if the Braves hold on to Jim Johnson, I’d still fully expect Viz to take over as the teams closer at some point before the end of the season.
- Also returning from the DL last week was Keone Kela, who is still squarely in a competition for saves in Texas. While Alex Claudio continues to see the bulk of save chances, Kela did pitch a clean 8th inning in his first game back, earning a hold. I doubt Claudio becomes the teams clear-cut closer this season, so Kela should get another opportunity to see save chances later in the year.
TIER 3: Torn
19. David Phelps (Seattle Mariners)
20. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)
24. Anthony Swarzak (Milwaukee Brewers)
- Just when you thought the White Sox bullpen couldn’t get any thinner, they go ahead and deal Anthony Swarzak to the Brewers on Tuesday night. It’s unclear how the Brewers plan to use him, but at the very least he should become the teams secondary set-up option, and could very well pitch the 8th inning with Jacob Barnes moving back into the 7th inning role. They could also use him in a Andrew Miller/Chris Devenski stopper role. Either way, his fantasy value should remain fairly high in holds league.
- Another hold’s option returning from the DL this week is Joe Smith, who was a surprisingly productive real life and fantasy RP option early in the year. He should regain his top set-up spot, pitching the 8th in front of Roberto Osuna, although Ryan Tepera has pitched well the last month or so. Either way, Smith is a sneaky good source for holds, K’s and low ratio’s for those in deeper leagues.
TIER 4: You Get What You Give
31. Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati Reds)
32. Brandon Maurer (Kansas City Royals)
34. Ryan Buchter (Kansas City Royals)
39. Shane Greene (Detroit Tigers)
45. Phil Maton (San Diego Padres)
47. Drew Storen (Cincinnati Reds)
- The Royals bullpen got a solid boost, adding both Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter this weekend. I’d still imagine the team keep Joakim Soria and Mike Minor in high leverage situations, but it’s worth monitoring how Maurer and Buchter are used in the next couple of weeks, as both could have significant value. Maurer was pitching really well over the past month, while Buchter has been one of the best lefty relievers in baseball since the start of last season.
- The other side to that trade gives us some nice sleeper options going forward, and two guys who very well could see 2 months as the teams closer or top setup option. Kirby Yates has gone from waivers on opening day to a stud late inning. Phil Maton is the teams closer of the future, but could take a back seat to Yates this season if the team moves Brad Hand at the deadline.
TIER 5: There She Goes
66. Luis Avilan (Los Angeles Dodgers)
67. Luis Garcia (Philadelphia Phillies)
68. Brandon Morrow (Los Angeles Dodgers)
69. Dan Jennings (Chicago White Sox)
70. Jake Barrett (Arizona Diamondbacks)
- Since Jake Barrett was recalled by the Diamondbacks just prior to the All-Star break, the guy who was once dubbed their future closer has been pretty dominant. Over 9 innings he has allowed 6 hits, but just issued 2 walks and 1 earned run while racking up 11 K’s. He probably won’t see any time as the teams closer this season, but he could find himself in a competition for the role heading into spring training next year.
Top 50 RP’s for SV+HD Leagues
5. Felipe Rivero (Pittsburgh Pirates)
9. Zach Britton (Baltimore Orioles)
11. Mychal Givens (Baltimore Orioles)
23. Arodys Vizcaino (Atlanta Braves)
24. Keone Kela (Texas Rangers)
39. A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins)
41. David Phelps (Seattle Mariners)
45. Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles)