What it do, Razzturds!
Very simple concept for this week. Lots of new faces in new places, so I’ll be running y’all through the fantasy ramifications of all that. In order of NL East/Central/West then AL East/Central/West, just cuz.
In addition to updating you all on transactions, I’ll touch on some injuries that have impacted bullpens, too.
Kenley Jansen and Collin McHugh sign with ATL
Sooooooooooooo remember back when I said in my SAGNOF landscape piece that a guy like Will Smith is a free agent signing or trade away from not being a closer anymore? That done happened. Kenley Jansen is getting paid $16 million to throw baseballs for the Atlanta Braves now, and he ain’t gonna be throwing baseballs as a setup man. You can kiss all your Smith shares goodbye outside of SVHD formats.
If Jansen signing wasn’t enough to screw your Smith shares over, even in SVHD leagues, Collin McHugh is also now a member of the Atlanta Braves and figures to slot right into high-leverage duties. I’ve honestly got Smith as like RP #5 in this pen now. Jansen, McHugh, Jackson, and Matzek are all ahead of him in my book. My book isn’t the same as Brian Snitker’s, though.
Adam Ottavino signs with NYM
Adam Ottavino was a baller at times last year but then finished the year looking like hot garbage in a Boston hat. Still, his signing means he could very well work into some 6th- and/or 7th-inning duties for the Mets. He’s 0% rosterable in SV-only formats, obviously, but he might be a very cheap source of holds for ya’s.
Brad Hand and Jeurys Familia sign with PHI
Good ol’ Brad Hand will get another shot with a different NL East squad. Was a good closer for the Nats at times last year, lost his mojo, went to Toronto, then sucked some more, then went to the Mets and was a little better. I can’t feel good about a dude who wore three different jerseys in one season. Alas, it’s a new year, and the Philly pen just still ain’t all that good, so Hand just might emerge as a better option eventually. I’ve got Corey Knebel pegged as the for-sure closer, but maybe his leash is a tad shorter with a [once upon a time] proven closer lurking behind him. I’m not very confident in Hand even in a SVHD league, but ya gotta assume he’s getting chances to be a setup guy. Should things go south for Knebel, be it performance-wise or health-wise, Hand would become a hot commodity on the wire methinks.
Jeurys Familia could maybe sorta also factor into some setup duties. Probably not consistently, but hey, I gotta at least give him a tiny little shoutout as an…option.
Oli Marmol says Cards won’t have a true closer straightaway
Well, that’s fun news for you Giovanny Gallegos owners, eh? The Cardinals are banged up already, so Marmol has hinted at needing to get creative with how he uses his arms. Sounds like things will be very matchup- and situation-based. Fun!! You drafted Gallegos as a potential monster given news that Reyes and Hicks might get stretched out to be starters and given how badass Gallegos was to end 2021. But now there are two facts that muck this all up for you: 1). Hicks won’t be stretched out to start, and 2). Marmol has said there won’t be a true closer. Am I avoiding Gallegos entirely in SV-only leagues? Pretty much, unless that ADP takes a nosedive. Am I still going hard for the dude in SVHD leagues? Mos def.
David Robertson, Chris Martin, Mychal Givens sign with CHC
The Cubs seem to be going for it? Like trying to compete and stuff? In addition to wooing Seiya, adding Stroman, etc., they went and added a trio of arms to bolster their pen: David Robertson, Chris Martin, and Mychal Givens. All three of these dudes become relevant to some degree in SVHD formats. It remains to be seen just how relevant they are if you’re looking for solely saves from them. I’ve tentatively tossed Robertson in as co-closer next to Rowan Wick on the Bullpen Chart. That could change in a hurry, of course, but I certainly like his odds to close more than I do with Martin or Givens. Still gonna treat Wick as the primary guy, it’s just he’s not always healthy and he’s not always good. Thing is, none of these guys are. I’m kinda loving this pen as a Cards fan, ngl.
Codi Heuer and Brad Wieck injured
Codi Heuer had Tommy John and will miss the entire season. Woulda been a real solid SVHD guy.
Brad Wieck is my dark horse pick to ultimately assume closing duties for the Cubs, with a 0.00 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 39.4 K% last year (albeit in just 17 IP). Small sample, but he still stands out above anyone in that pen. Once he’s healthy, keep a real close eye on him back there. The Cards fan in me won’t like this pen as much when he returns.
Lucas Sims likely not ready for Opening Day
News broke that one of my favorite RP sleeper picks, Lucas Sims, will in all likelihood not be ready for Opening Day. Good news is this apparently not due to an injury. He’s just…not gonna be ready. Behind on his preseason routine. Who knows how long it’ll be. If you want a jump on early saves from Cincy, my money would be on Art Warren.
Ian Kennedy signs with ARZ
Welp, one of the few places Ian Kennedy could have chosen that wouldn’t put him directly in the saves mix was Arizona. Lots of drafters figured Kennedy would sign somewhere he could close, thus he was drafted as a saves source in many a league. Very likely not the case in Zona. That Melancon guy has that job on lock. Should be a setup guy, though.
Blake Treinen emerges as likeliest closer for LAD
With Jansen choosing not to come back to LA, one would think that Blake Treinen becomes the 9th inning option for the Dodgers. I’m not entirely convinced a guy like Alex Vesia doesn’t rise up and take some opportunities, especially if Dave Roberts wants to treat Treinen as a secret weapon instead of an outright 9th-inning-only type. I’ve seen nothing to indicate that, however; just saying I could see things playing out that way. For now, you gotta draft Treinen expecting like 40+ saves, right?
Alex Colome signs with COL
Oof. Not that Carlos Estevez is sexy by any stretch, but you at least drafted him real late as a decent source of saves. I know I did. Multiple times. But now with Alex Colome in the picture, that’s not a guaranteed thing at all. I’m too stubborn to completely remove Estevez from the “Closer” column on the Pen Chart for now, but dammit it’s probably gonna have to happen eventually.
Jake Diekman signs with BOS
I could be off the mark here, but I kinda see Boston letting Matt Barnes and Jake Diekman either battle it out this Spring or just share the gig. The fact Barnes is a righty and Diekman is a lefty could mean it’s a matchup thing. All of this assumes Garrett Whitlock gets a spot in the rotation or gets long-relief duties. I don’t really know if that’s gonna be the case or not, though. Hard to find conclusive stuff on what his role will be. Maybe Whitlock is just the outright closer? One thing’s pretty much a sure bet: Diekman will be relevant in SVHD leagues.
Amir Garrett is traded to KC
Amir Garrett got dealt to the Royals, so that’s already a plus in his favor with regards to a 2022 bounce-back campaign, what with not having to pitch in Great American Ball Park anymore. I can see Garrett working his way into setup duties for sure, but there’s almost no way (aside from injuries) he challenges Barlow/Staumont for the highest-leverage work. Barlow is the closer, Staumont is the main setup man, and then after that there’s some wiggle room. Keep an eye on Garrett as an uber-cheap holds source, but I wouldn’t waste time hoping for speculative saves from him.
Andrew Chafin signs with DET
This one’s interesting. I would not have listed Detroit as even a little bit likely of a landing spot for Andrew Chafin. So, now that he’s there, what’s his role? Could he jump straight into the closer gig? Maybe so! I’m not ready to make that claim yet, but you can bet your patootie that he’ll at least be the main man setting up. Maybe he picked Detroit cuz he knows he already is the sexiest name in that entire pen.
Kendall Graveman and Joe Kelly sign with CHW
Graveman happened a good while ago…though not gonna lie, I’d forgotten it did. Kendall Graveman was still an Astro in my mind not too long ago. Even had it wrong on the Bullpen Chart at first. Whoopsies. He’s with the White Sox now. And since I still expect Craig Kimbrel to get traded, I can see The Grave Man being a pretty serious factor in SVHD leagues.
Joe Kelly probably doesn’t become a holds favorite, but I guess it’s not the most ridiculous idea in the world (as long as Kimbrel does indeed get dealt). Kelly is more a deep league roto type to me, with a chance to provide a few more wins than the average reliever while also probably giving very good ratios and strong Ks.
Ryan Tepera, Archie Bradley, and Aaron Loup sign with LAA
I did not forget Aaron Loup signed with the Halos, so yay to me for that! He’s good. Real good. I liked him a whole lot for SVHD leagues until Ryan Tepera decided to join the ranks. Gotta figure Tepera is the primary setup guy for Iglesias now, but Loup should still see plenty of holds chances throughout the year as the lefty specialist. As for Archie Bradley, I just wanted to do my due diligence by announcing his signing. I don’t at all see him as relevant in any format. Except maybe AL-only. Or AL West-only…
Casey Sadler to miss all of 2022
A shoulder operation will cost Casey Sadler all of this season. From a fantasy perspective, that’s one less name in the setup mix for the Mariners, who have a very deep pen. I’ve run numbers by y’all before, but just a reminder that Sadler was hella good in 2021. Like, untouchably good. His injury means Andres Munoz becomes a guy to watch, though I’m still looking at Sewald, Steckenrider, and Castillo as the holds guys, with Giles being the primary closer (if/when healthy).
Greg Holland signs with TEX
Wrapping up this week’s update with a boring signing: Greg Holland to Texas. With Jonathan Hernandez and Jose Leclerc still a good deal away from action, the Rangers needed to strengthen the pen up a little bit. I really thought they’d try to bring Ian Kennedy back and potentially let him be their closer again, but instead they got Holland. I wouldn’t totally count Holland out of the saves mix, but I’ll say this: if I own Joe Barlow, I’m much happier with Holland than I would be if it were Kennedy.
I do some fantasy baseball as well as some fantasy hockey here at Razzball. Find me on Twitter: @jkj0787. DMs are always open for questions, comments, concerns, complaints, etc. Odds are good I’m drinking black coffee, dark beer, or some form of bourbon at any given time.