Joaquin Benoit (+23%) was the most added player this week after Huston Street was traded to the Angels. Benoit was scooped up by those looking for saves obviously, but he’s a decent pitcher all around. Can he be trusted going forward? The big question isn’t whether we should pick up Benoit. That’s a no-brainer in the short term. No, the big question is will he actually remain with the Padres as their closer or will he be shipped out at the deadline to a contending team in need of bullpen help. I do not have the answer to that particular question, sorry. Teams like the Indians, Tigers, and Pirates (among others) have been linked to trade talks with the Padres regarding Benoit. Should he head somewhere and close it’s no big deal, but if he lands somewhere in a different role, it could kill some or even all of the saves value that makes him attractive target right now. To sum up, he’s a treasure if you need some cheap saves, but he could quickly turn to trash depending on how things shake out over the next two weeks and quite frankly, how many saves is he really going to rack up with the worst offense in baseball anyway? Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in 2014 fantasy baseball…
Jake McGee – 53% owned (+15%)
Get your rotten vegetables ready because this is the part where I try to play the contrarian and call a guy trash who actually appears to be pretty useful. McGee is getting some love in Tampa Bay save situations since he’s been the best reliever in their bullpen. The problem is that being the best reliever in a bullpen managed by Joe Maddon means that sometimes you’re going to be used outside of save situations to get through the heart of a lineup in the seventh or eigth inning. This happened Sunday. It’s kind of like when Mr. Burns pinch hits for Griffey with Homer. It looks odd, but it’s what “smart baseball managers do”. So while McGee has saved eight games already and has a killer 11+ K/9, he may frustrting if it’s just saves that you’re after. Yes, he’ll get more than most in the Rays pen but I think he’ll also be used outside of the ninth depending on the situation, which means this is still a closer by commitee of sorts. If you’re in need of some ratio help or you are in a saves plus holds league and seeing him in a non-save situation isn’t going to get your panties in a bunch, go for it. If you think there is such a thing as a singular Rays’ closer right now, I’m just not sure we can say that. TRASH.
C.J. Cron – 16% owned (-22%)
Do you have any vegetables left after the McGee rant? Good, because now I’m going to call Cron a treasure even though he is currently in the minor leagues. Sometimes teams have to make wacky moves and this feels like one of them. Needing relief pitching and having to send someone down meant Cron got the demotion, but I’d expect him to be back up sooner rather than later. Cron had nine home runs and 27 runs batted in across just 182 plate appearances, so it certainly wasn’t a matter of his performance. The 24-year-old shouldn’t be on the wire in keepers or dynasty leagues, but impatient owners are probably dropping him in redrafts with the demotion. If you can afford to, Cron is an easy add for teams needing a power bat for the stretch run. TREASURE.