Some of the trade rumors I’ve seen are just plain funny.  Craig Kimbrel to the Yankees?  Wait, what!?  Really?  I’m not denying it as a possibility but I am thinking it might be a little overboard to acquire a premier closer when you probably only need a solid bullpen guy because you already have TWO premier closers.  The list of closers and strong middle relievers available is so long this year.  One thing’s for sure, there are going to be some strong bullpens vying for postseason play.  Here’s the lowdown on closers and some other relievers who could be dealt in the upcoming weeks, starting with some of the players most likely to be traded and ending with those much less likely to be.

Tyler Clippard will certainly be moved.  Wherever it is that he goes he is unlikely to end up as the closer.  According to A’s beat writer Susan Slusser, Edward Mujica would become the closer for Oakland, unless Drew Pomeranz is moved back to the bullpen then he’s a possibility.  Also note that Sean Doolittle could be returning by September so it seems unlikely that any single A’s closer will see more than 6-7 chances.

Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit are both candidates to be dealt by San Diego.  Joaquin Benoit is definitely the next in line to Kimbrel but if they were both moved I would guess Brandon Maurer is the target.

Jonathan Papelbon should be moved and he reportedly will not be pleased if it’s as a non-closer.  I’ve heard the Nationals, Cubs and Blue Jays mentioned as destinations and I think he could remain the closer in any of those places.  Yes, even for Washington — see the first sentence in this paragraph.  Ken Giles remains his next in line as has been the case all year.

Aroldis Chapman is another threat to Drew Storen’s job and a trade to Toronto also remains a possibility.  The next in line for Cincinatti is J.J. Hoover.

I haven’t heard much more in regards to Francisco Rodriguez so even though he remains a likely trade candidate I’m not sure where.  When Brett Cecil first imploded he was named as a possibility for the Blue Jays and I suspect that is still the case.  Roberto Osuna would be out of a job and in the spot vacated by K-Rod I would still prefer to own Will Smith over Jeremy Jeffress but either one could be the next Brewers closer.

Jim Johnson will be traded if anyone wants him and my favorite for saves in Atlanta after his departure is Arodys Vizcaino.  I don’t see any landing spot where Johnson would remain a closer if traded.

John Axford and his (probable) next in line LaTroy Hawkins are both trade candidates, so like the situation for San Diego above, we may have to go 3-deep here.  I’m going to guess Rafael Betancourt would be the player to own of both Axford and Hawkins left via trade.  If Axford is traded he will not remain a closer.

David Robertson seems a possibility to be traded but I haven’t heard much recently.  I think Jake Petricka would take over although Zach Duke is a somewhat likely closer choice.

The word on Brad Ziegler is that his price is very high so he very well may stay put.  If not I expect Daniel Hudson or possibly Oliver Perez to take over for Arizona.  Ziegler’s probably a lot better than I had given him credit for, even if he is still due some regression to the mean.  Maybe his ERA from here on out will be 2.50-ish?

The Rays could trade away Jake McGee or Kevin Jepsen or Brad Boxberger and I’ve heard that the Astros are now looking for bullpen help, so that seems like a possibility.  I do consider Luke Gregerson’s job to be in jeopardy.  Not much to see here as far as the Rays player’s go because McGee and Boxberger are both owned in most leagues.

Now here’s a handy dandy SAGNOF summary of the above information in table form.

Player Next In Line Destination? Loser
Tyler Clippard Edward Mujica, Sean Doolittle waiting Nationals, Pirates Clippard
Craig Kimbrel Joaquin Benoit Blue Jays, Nationals, Yankees Osuna, Storen
Jonathan Papelbon Ken Giles Nationals, Cubs, Blue Jays Storen, Motte, Osuna
Aroldis Chapman J.J. Hoover Blue Jays, Nationals Storen, Osuna
Francisco Rodriguez Will Smith, Jeremy Jeffress Blue Jays? Osuna
Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino Twins Johnson
John Axford LaTroy Hawkins Tigers Axford
David Robertson Jake Petricka, Zach Duke ???
Brad Ziegler Daniel Hudson, Oliver Perez ???

 

Some brief Steals Ain’t Got No Face notes:  Nori Aoki is returning from the DL today and he was in the midst of a great SAGNOF year before the injury.  Jarrod Dyson stole two bases yesterday in a game he did not start which is to say he’s up to his old tricks.  I expect more starts from him going forward, it seems like the Royals have faced an above average amount of lefties.  Chris Owings has been seeing quite a few starts at second base for the Diamondbacks and is worth checking into.  And finally a trade deadline note, if Troy Tulowitzki is somehow traded Trevor Story could be promoted and he’s hit 16 home runs and stolen 15 bases across 88 AA and AAA games this year.

 

 

 
  1. Jack says:
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    I have Osuna & Soria and Giles is still a free agent. Let’s say Papelbon gets traded to someone (not Toronto or Detroit), do I drop either of them for Giles and if so, which one?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Jack: Philly’s going to be hard pressed to give Giles many Save opportunities. That’s the bad thing about Giles. So I would say no. But of course it’s obvious if Osuna gets removed from the closer role and I think there’s a good chance that happens.

  2. Mikey says:
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    If you add one and Giles wasn’t a choice ?
    Vizcaino?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Mikey: That would be ok. I do think there is a somewhat high likelihood Johnson is traded. Maybe J.J. Hoover instead but I think your odds are solid either way.

  3. PD says:
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    16 team league that does holds+saves. Would you dump Rodney (I probably should have months ago) for Romo? Someone else?

    The top holds guys available (no closers out there) are Romo, Maness, Justin Wilson, Logan, Dunn, Geltz, Thornton.

    Rodney has more saves than any of those guys (except Romo) but boy do I pay a price for those saves.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @PD: Yes, I’d go Romo.

      • PD says:
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        @RotoLance:
        Thanks!

        Now that Clippard has been traded would you still grab Romo or go with Mujica? Again, the league does holds+saves so I don’t necessarily need a closer. Just someone who gets holds/saves and has better ratios than Rodney (which isn’t hard).

        • RotoLance

          RotoLance says:
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          @PD: Yep, def still Romo for that format.

          • PD says:
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            @RotoLance:

            Thanks again. Much appreciated.

        • Mordacious Levator says:
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          @PD: why have you owned rodney this long in a saves + holds league. you just explained how you know that means a shitty closer (or in this case a shitty non-closer) has little value. romo is much much better than rodney, and if romo is available there’s been better people than rodney (probably at least 15 of them) all year for you.

            • Mordacious Levator says:
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              @RotoLance: was attempting to be helpful, he should go look for those 15 other guys, could be some better than romo (not bloody likely)

  4. Steve Stevenson says:
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    14-tm weekly H2H, we can only start 2 RP and roster 4. I have a pu pu platter of Clippard, Osuna, Axford & Jim Johnson, with McGee still stashed in a DL slot.

    All of your next-in-lines listed above are available, as is Motte. Would you make any moves away from the “most likely to be traded” now to try to beat the FA rush, or hold and see who actually gets traded?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: I’m not sure if you want to do that. I would maybe try to split the difference between waiting and rushing and really pay close attention to what’s going on then when it seems the rumors seem very specific and legitimate act accordingly.

      Twitter is a great place to get breaking news and updates quickly.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: Well on second thought it might be fair to get rid of Tyler Clippard now. The only way I see him ending up as a closer is if he goes to Toronto.

  5. Great White North says:
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    Any Jenry Mejia thoughts before the trade deadline?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Great White North: I read that he’s ineligible for the postseason because of his earlier suspension. Seems like that would make him unlikely as a trade target.

      Familia’s really had a rough time recently but I don’t have too many takeaways from that yet. It’s certainly something to monitor though.

    • Mordacious Levator says:
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      @Great White North: resuspended, same drug plus he added another one. gotta respect the balls on this guy, the others just spend more money to find newest non-testable drugs (would love to see superfluous H’s bill, or cruz), this guy just runs the gauntlet and gambles. (

  6. Darryl Sorensen says:
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    I’m set at closer for my yearly league, but had to comment on you having Jim Johnson as going to the Twins.. As a Twins fan, i would love it, since our bullpen is falling apart, but is there real steam for that happening?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Darryl Sorensen: I grew up in Twins territory.

      I can’t remember where I got that from but certainly I’m not a source and I don’t have sources per se. Certainly they’ll do something at the deadline, I’m not really sure if Jim Johnson is the move they want though it probably won’t take much to get him. He’s ok.

      • Darryl Sorensen says:
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        @RotoLance:
        Born and raised in MN, I’ve seen speculation on Benoit, but that would probably take too much compared to Johnson

  7. Skeezix says:
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    Yo Lance, if you could add either Familia or Cody Allen today for ROS, who would it be? I have to make this decision, and our trade deadline is also Friday – and we have no waivers left. So basically I’m asking who you’d rather have, and if it’s Allen, how worried should I be that he could lose his job via a trade?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Skeezix: Clippard was just traded to the Mets so there’s that. I’m not sure if that displaces Familia as the closer. It could.

      I’d feel comfortable with Cody Allen but you could wait to get the lowdown on Familia vs Clippard.

  8. LittleJoeyCora says:
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    Hey Lance, I know you touched on the A’s bullpen in your write-up, but going with your impeccable gut instincts, could you rank these dudes ROS for saves? (looking to add 2) Thanks much!

    – Mujica
    – O’Flaherty
    – Pomeranz
    – F. Rodriguez

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @LittleJoeyCora: Mujica, Rodriguez, Pomeranz, O’Flaherty.

      • LittleJoeyCora says:
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        @RotoLance: Awesome! Thanks. Just grabbed ’em both. Now let’s ride that sweet A’s bullpen to a fantasy championship! haha

  9. SF says:
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    Who would you hedge your bets on if you wanted to make a preemptive add of the following:

    Mujica, Will Smith, Vizcaino, Hoover

    • SF says:
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      @SF: Forgot to say, I can only add one guy.

      • RotoLance

        RotoLance says:
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        @SF: Well Mujica may already have a job but I am really not a big fan. I’d lean Hoover from those choices in part because I’m quite confident he’d be the guy if Chapman’s gone.

        • SF says:
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          @RotoLance: I just found out Clippard already got moved.

          With Soria, Gregerson, Uehara in the fold, I don’t think I have a pressing need to add a guaranteed closer. Wouldn’t have had a need to be chasing one more if I still had Grilli :(

          Who is the most ownable guy considering my league counts HLDs as a separate stat and K/9 rather than just Ks? Personally leaning Will Smith or Arodys, but not really sure.

          • RotoLance

            RotoLance says:
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            @SF: Yeah that sounds like the way to go for you. I love W Smith. I’m not really sure on Arodys, sadly I haven’t researched his peripherals or career yet.

  10. Schoolboy P says:
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    Nice job on the Trevor Story prediction!

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Schoolboy P: I’d say “not quite”. Reyes is still with Colorado, right? It’s possible they trade him as well.

      • Scott says:
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        @RotoLance: Yeah, I’m not sure what the Rockies were thinking with such a pure lateral move. More steals?

        • Mordacious Levator says:
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          @Scott: they got a top 30 SP prospect in hoffman.

          • Mordacious Levator says:
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            @Mordacious Levator: not to mention another big time prospect in miguel castro and a 3rd guy who i’m not much aware of.

        • RotoLance

          RotoLance says:
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          @Scott: Naww, I don’t think even the Rockies would trade Tulo for more steals, even if he’s a Tulo in decline. I think most “insider” types would say they will deal Tulo by next offseason.

          The commenter who commented on you legit knows A LOT.

  11. Scott says:
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    Hoover has looked like hot garbage the last 2 outings. Is this temporary?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Scott: Probably, honestly I really haven’t checked. Hoover isn’t actually that good. He’s mediocre, he’d be below average by closer standards. I like his situation though, as the clear cut next in line behind Chapman.

      Thanks for reading.

  12. Jensen says:
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    Yo! Any RP you would recommend for a league that uses TONS of RP and plays BAA, WHIP, ERA.

    No saves or holds needed. Just some high IP and a low low ERA.

    George Kontos? Carlos Villanueva? Ryan Madson?

    Carson Smith and Jim Johnson are my two worst. And Osuna.

    • Mordacious Levator says:
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      @Jensen: that’s a really deep league if kontos is a top 3 option (like 30 teamer) it’s possible some better adds are available. check Razzball ERA vs FIP tool.

      • RotoLance

        RotoLance says:
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        @Mordacious Levator: Oh my, I didn’t even know Razzball had an ERA vs FIP tool… earlier for my ERA vs FIP stuff I was checking fangraphs.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Jensen: All I know is I hope you were reading me back when I first wrote about Carter Capps. It was fairly early on, like maybe 15 days after he was called up/returned from injury (whatever it was, he didn’t pitch at the beginning of the season).

      I really don’t know offhand. I’ll dig around a bit for you, see if I come up with any names.

  13. Scott says:
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    Dyson or DeShields?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Scott: I haven’t yet looked into whether the acquisition of Zobrist is going to cut into Dyson’s playing time at all. Dyson already sits vs lefties. So I don’t really know, it’s close, I guess I’d lean DeShields.

  14. Scott says:
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    Mujica is the one! Thanks for your help, I got him!

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Scott: Glad I helped.

  15. mike says:
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    Closers are axford, Holland, and ziegler. Drop dyson to add vizcaino. Net saves/saves. Or drop dyson to add souza who is projected $30 on hittertron Friday,sat,Sunday,monday,Tuesday.

    Or wait for maybe hoover to become closer in cinncy. Only have 1 add left this week

    12 team h2h

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @mike: I think most of those moves are fine. The only one I wouldn’t make is the last one. Wouldn’t bother adding Hoover hoping that he’s the closer if Vizcaino already is. Is he? I haven’t yet seen that news although last night there were some rumblings of a 3 team deal MIA/ATL/LAD I believe. Brief thoughts on Souza, he hasn’t lived up to his projections. I love projections but take them with a grain of salt, especially for a rookie. That said, he could still outperform Dyson. Close call.

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