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Bullpen Report: Figuring Things Out After Wild Trade Deadline

jordan romano fantasy baseball rankings closers saves draft sleepers MLB injury news

For weeks leading up to the trade deadline, I wrote about how greatly it would impact bullpens around the league. I tried to project closers that would be traded and setup men that would take over the closer gigs. Well, even I was wrong with how much the trade deadline would impact the reliever position! 

In what could go down as the greatest trade deadline ever, there were so many relievers dealt. The closer position was turned on its head and it will have great impacts on the final two months of the fantasy baseball season. 

This week I will focus solely on bullpens that were shaken up during the trade deadline! 

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New Look Bullpens 

Arizona Diamondbacks 

The DBacks traded closer Joakim Soria at the deadline, leaving the spot vacant. While we have not seen a save for them since the trade, we did see Tyler Clippard pick up a save just last week. He has to be viewed as the closer here and should be added off waivers if he has not been already. The D-Backs will not win a bunch of games, but Clippard can still provide more than a handful of saves these final two months. If he struggles, Noe Ramirez and JB Bukauskas are backup options in this pen. 

Boston Red Sox

Matt Barnes will still be picking up the saves and it appears Adam Ottavino is still the set up man, but the Sox bullpen still added another former closer at the deadline. Trading for Hansel Robles, who made his debut in the sixth inning over the weekend, gives them another option if anything happens to Barnes. Robles is now a fringy player to roster in fantasy, and he can be dropped in 12-team leagues or shallower. 

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs traded basically anyone they could. Not only did they trade all the faces of their franchise, but they traded Craig Kimbrel and Ryan Tepera to the White Sox (in separate trades) and sent Andrew Chafin to the A’s. That is the closer and the two setup men that we thought could take over for him. The first non-Kimbrel save went to Kyle Ryan, who has to be viewed at the least in a committee here. He could also share the job with Codi Heuer, Manuel Rodriguez and Rowan Wick. I would rank them in that order for fantasy purposes. 

Chicago White Sox 

The White Sox added Kimbrel and Tepera to a bullpen that already had Liam Hendriks and Aaron Bummer. They have said that Hendriks and Kimbrel will share save chances, but in a tie game this week we saw Kimbrel pitch the eighth and Hendriks pitch the ninth. I anticipate we see this order more often than not. While this dings the value of both, I think it hurts Kimbrel more than Hendriks. Still, both put up elite numbers and are worthy of rostering. This makes Bummer and Tepera purely ratio/strikeout arms, as they would now need something to happen to both closer options before even entering the saves picture. 

Houston Astros

The Astros traded for Kendall Graveman from their division rival Mariners. While we have not seen an official save from the Astros yet, we did see Graveman pitch the eighth and Pressly the ninth in a game this week. That seems to be the pecking order for now, but Pressly did allow a run that game. He now has a big threat breathing down his neck after really having no competition the first half. Graveman gives such elite ratios that he is worth holding onto for now. The Astros also added Yimi Garcia, but he is now third in the saves pecking order. 

Miami Marlins 

With Yimi Garcia being traded to the Astros, the Marlins are now in need of a new closer. We have seen the first save chance in the post-Garcia era, and there was no surprise with it going to Dylan Floro. It was his third save of the season. Anthony Bender, another candidate, pitched the seventh inning while the eighth went to former closer Anthony Bass. Bass loaded the bases and had to exit early, while Floro cleaned up his mess and got the four-out save. This is Floro’s bullpen and he should be added anywhere he has not been already. Bender would be second in the pecking order as it is too tough to trust Bass. 

Minnesota Twins

Hansel Robles was shipped up to Boston, while Taylor Rogers is on the IL with a finger sprain. He will take over the closer gig when he returns, but until then this bullpen will be fluid. We still have to figure this out, but it appears that Tyler Duffey will be the top option for the time being. Alex Colome is still here and could take back over his role as the closer purely on experience alone. Caleb Thielbar is another option to roster here. I rank them in that order for fantasy purposes. 

Philadelphia Phillies 

The Phillies made a splash adding Ian Kennedy at the deadline. He will now take over the closer job for the Phils. He came in this week in a four-out game in the ninth and allowed a two-run homer, but still closed it out. In that game, Archie Bradley pitched the eighth and Jose Alvarado manned the seventh. That appears to be the pecking order here. Former closer Ranger Suarez has moved to the starting rotation and went three innings in his first start. 

Pittsburgh Pirates 

Richard Rodriguez was dealt to the Braves, leaving the Pirates without a closer. While we have not seen a save since the trade, we did see Chris Stratton pitch the ninth of a tie game and picked up a win this week. He appears to be in the lead role in this bullpen, but a committee approach is definitely possible. Behind Stratton is David Bednar, Chasen Shreve and Duane Underwood Jr. I would rank them in that order. 

Seattle Mariners 

The Mariners had a weird deadline, trading away Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero, but picking up Diego Castillo from the Rays. We have not yet seen a save, but we have seen Castillo pitch twice for the Mariners. The first was in the ninth with a four-run lead. Paul Sewald pitched in the eighth that game. Then we saw Castillo give up a game-ending HR in the 10th inning of a game where Sewald pitched the ninth. That seems to be the pecking order here, but if Castillo struggles we could see Sewald regain that closer role here. Both are worth rostering for the time being. 

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are going full Rays. In recent days we have seen Jeffery Springs pitch the ninth of a four-run game, Chris Mazza pitch the ninth in a four-run game where J.T. Chargois was warming up until the Rays extended the lead and Matt Wisler pick up a save. Then there is also Andrew Kittredge who could get save opportunities. This is going to be a maddening situation that could see any of these four options pick up a save chance. There may even be more than four options that they trust for saves. I rank them Wisler, Kittredge, Chargois, Springs, Mazza for fantasy purposes, but this is easily the toughest bullpen to trust right now. 

Texas Rangers 

With Ian Kennedy gone, the Rangers will need someone to step up for saves moving forward. The first save chance went to Spencer Patton, who appears to be the new closer for the Rangers. Joe Barlow pitched the eighth and he is looking like second in the pecking order. Patton should be added off the waiver wire if he has not been already. 

Toronto Blue Jays 

The Blue Jays added Brad Hand and Joakim Soria to the bullpen at the deadline. In the first game we saw them all used, Soria pitched the eighth, Romano pitched the ninth in a tie game and then Hand suffered the loss in the 10th. Romano pitching the ninth is telling and it appears he is still the favorite for saves here, with Hand next in line. We could see a mix and match scenario from this bullpen. We will also see Tyler Chatwood and Julian Merryweather return at some point and add even more firepower to this bullpen. 

Washington Nationals 

Kyle Finnegan has stepped up and maintained the ninth-inning role for the Nats. He has picked up two saves and a win in the last week alone. It has been Wander Suero pitching in the setup role for the Nats, indicating that he is next in line here. However, Finnegan is the big prize here and managers should be aggressive trying to add him off the waiver wire. 

Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio



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