This is the best time of the year, next to when Shark Week is on TV.  All the movement in real baseball sends a ripple throughout the fantasy universe and in most position player cases, the player is owned to the moon or already a contributor.  Not so much in the realm of baseball’s forgotten warriors: the setup men.  As teams scramble for bullpen help, it creates an everlasting (not really forever) waterfall effect that resonates to the new and old team.  Take for example the Yankees/White Sox trade it has created job questions for five separate relievers: Betances, Robertson, Kahnle, Clippard and Swarzak.  Now with all the hype surrounding trade rumors, it is best to identify the team who gets the bullpen help first, than the trading team second.  Because the trading team usually is where the goodies are at.  Anthony Swarzak looks to be the biggest beneficiary in the setup options, and yes, Clippard will be closing, but Swarzak will be there when Clippard gets dealt again whether it’s before or after the non-waiver trade deadline.  So to summarize here, be speculative but not crazy.  Pay attention to the reliever deals in place and realize that some pitchers get moved down a few pegs, but on the reflexive, some move up. Have at some juicy reliever tidbits, Cheers!.

  • David Phelps jumps the line in Seattle as they acquired him to strengthen the endgame in front of Diaz.  Nick Vincent and every one elses mother may take two steps backwards.  Vincent is still ownable here, as he has pitched brilliantly with 5 Holds and a K-rate in the 12’s for the past 7 appearances.
  • See the reflexive here for the Marlins.  Bear Claw is manning the main seat now with a sneaky guy maybe Jarlin Garcia taking the 7th.  I can’t write B-Rad Zieglers name anymore.
  • With all the swirling news in Baltimore, the only piece that I fail to see in any trade idea is Mychal Givens, as a spec add with his numbers he could be the last man standing.
  • The Cardinals bullpen is playing the game of hot potato with a side of blown save.  Cecil, Rosenthal, and Oh are making a hash out of it lately.  Rosenthal to me is still the shiniest object to own in that bullpen 18 plus K-rate to me trumps the insecurity of saves.
  • Interesting name I am watching in the trade market for Holds, because no way does retread Tony Watson close. Last 30 days, 6 holds, .75 ERA.  K’s are never his forte, but on a contender with more save/hold opps, he could be a heady acquisition.
  • The Astros need some flair with Will Harris on the DL.  Two holds as a team in last 14 days and their best reliever as of late is mop-up guy Frances Martes, not to be confused with recently promoted A’s reliever Frankie Montas.  Easy to remember really one is Spanish for Tuesday and the other is if you need a ride, just avoid getting a ride on Tuesday.
  • Sneak Reliever of the week: Tommy Hunter, 2 holds in last week and no more Lord Farquhar in the way.  The Rays are going to trade for bullpen help and have been bandied about with some bigger names so use him now instead of later.


Player Holds/BS App with Lead IR Runners/IR Scored
Taylor Rogers 22/1 28 21/2
Adam Ottavino 20/2 28 16/6
Andrew Miller 19/0 27 20/418/1
Jacob Barnes 18/1 30 9/3
Matthew Bowman  18/1 22 27/4
David Phelps 18/6 32 7/3
Mychal Givens 17/3 25 26/7
Juan Nicasio 17/3 29 20/5
Jose Ramirez 17/4 23 12/3
Matt Barnes 16/1 25 9/2
Daniel Hudson 16/1 22 17/5
Arodys Vizcaino 16/2 21 3/1
Ryan Buchter 15/2 24 12/5
Brad Hand 15/3 25 23/6
Ryan Madson 15/3 25 13/2
Nick Vincent 15/0 24 14/3
Matt Belisle 14/3 20 18/4
Chris Devenski 14/3 28 22/4
Jake Mcgee 14/3 27 21/7
Pedro Baez 13/1 24 14/1
Kyle Barraclough 13/3 26 6/3