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Closers and Saves Waiver Wire Report for Fantasy Baseball - Week 8

Jhoan Duran fantasy baseball rankings closers saves draft sleepers

We've all heard some version of the expression, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." Well, if anyone ever needed proof of that one, a quick look at Major League Baseball's bullpens in pretty much any season would relieve any doubt. This week, a bullpen that had finally come together fell apart, and another that had fallen apart and was then put back together may have fallen apart all over again.

Plenty of other idioms and common expressions pertained to some bullpens this week, such as, "go down in flames" or, "time flies when you're having fun". Even more relevant: let's not "beat around the bush" any longer and jump into this week's news and notes.

Be sure to also keep an eye on our Fantasy Baseball Closer Depth Charts for saves, holds, and bullpens. They will be updated daily or sometimes even more often throughout the 2023 baseball season. 


Miami Marlins - Bullpen and Closer News

The Marlins bullpen was all sorts of messy last season (in large part because of manager Don Mattingly's daily mistakes), so they went out and traded for a few relievers including A.J. Puk, who began the season as the team's closer. Puk was off to a great start, posting a 3.07 ERA (2.10 xERA) and six saves in seven chances. He's allowed five runs this season, with four coming in back-to-back outings, giving him 12 scoreless appearances.

All of that sounds great, except that now A.J. Puk is on the injured list with a nerve issue in his elbow. That sounds scary, but reports say that he's already throwing again and might be able to return sooner than the diagnosis implied. For now, Dylan Floro has taken over the 9th inning with Huascar Brazoban and Tanner Scott working in setup roles. Floro should be rostered in holds leagues already, but he can be added in saves-only formats as a temporary source of saves and a usual low ERA.

Risers: Dylan Floro
Fallers: A.J. Puk


Tampa Bay Rays - Bullpen and Closer News

Both Florida teams find themselves on the report this week as the Rays got Pete Fairbanks back from the injured list. He'd yet to allow a run this season but allowed three on one swing in his first outing back. A Pete Alonso walk-off homer shot Fairbanks' ERA from 0.00 to (a still very good) 2.25. Jason Adam was working as the head of the Rays bullpen while Fairbanks was out, but Adam also allowed a three-run homer earlier in that same game.

Fairbanks and Adam are likely to split save chances for the Rays, although there are concerns about Fairbanks pitching in cold weather that might give Adam a slight edge at least as things continue to warm up across the country. We don't think any team has ever done a home closer and an away closer, but with guaranteed warm weather in Tampa (and inside a dome) plus the Rays always being willing to try new things...maybe?

Risers: Pete Fairbanks
Fallers: Jason Adam


New York Yankees - Bullpen and Closer News

The Yankees made everyone including Clay Holmes think that Clay Holmes would remain their closer, but then they've gone to a very un-Yankees-like committee instead. Holmes is still pitching high-leverage innings, but Michael King seems to have taken over as the head of the committee in The Bronx.

King still hasn't really been able to pitch in back-to-back games though, leading to chances for Holmes and saves this week for Ron Marinaccio and Wandy Peralta. While King is still ramping up and working his way to pitching on consecutive days, Holmes and Peralta will retain some value in standard leagues and plenty in holds leagues. King is worth a roster spot and becomes a must-roster immediately as soon as he starts pitching in two straight.

Risers: Michael King, Wandy Peralta
Fallers: Clay Holmes


Short Relief - Other Bullpen News

-The Cubs bullpen is still trying to figure itself out, with Mark Leiter, Jr., Adbert Alzolay, Keegan Thompson, and Brandon Hughes all working high-leverage innings now that Brad Boxberger landed on the IL. Leiter seems like he's still at the top rung, but it's a very fluid situation.

-With Jose Alvarado injured, Craig Kimbrel has taken over as the head of the committee for the Phillies. With Gregory Soto struggling a bit, Kimbrel's hold on the ninth inning may have strengthened this week.

-Josh Sborz has vaulted into holds league relevance this week. He won't do much of anything for saves only managers, but holds league players are very likely to find him available for free.

-Raisel Iglesias is back and has two saves despite an 8.31 ERA. He's appeared in five games and had three scoreless appearances, but he's allowed four runs in just 1 1/3 innings of work in his other two games.

-The Liam Hendriks return seems imminent, as he's completed his rehab assignment and will throw live batting practice soon. The next step would be rejoining the White Sox bullpen. Until then, Kendall Graveman seems to be the guy to roster for saves from the White Sox bullpen, but his clock is ticking.

-Jhoan Duran and Jorge Lopez continue to share the Twins' closer role. Duran is the nightly favorite, but he'll occasionally be called upon for a presumed tougher 8th inning, which leads to a Lopez save in the 9th. Both are excellent assets in holds leagues.

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