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MLB Closers And Saves Waiver Wire Watch: Trade Deadline Edition 7/28

The MLB trade deadline is on Friday, July 28th at 4PM ET, which means the buyers and sellers will be negotiating with each other all week. Teams in the playoff hunt will be looking to add that missing piece, while the bottom dwellers will attempt to unload some large salaries to cut their losses.

I’ll go over some chatter surrounding closers and other relievers who could be trade candidates this week.

For fully updated information on the current closers, setup men and longshots, check out our MLB Closer Depth Charts.


Trade Deadline Closers

Tyler Clippard, New York Mets

Veteran reliever Clippard was traded to the New York Mets, shaking some things up for both teams. I would assume Clippard will go back to his inherent role as a set up man considering the success that Jeurys Familia has had for the Mets. This isn’t the best news for Clippard owners, as he may see his save chances take a dramatic decline. He still averages about a strikeout per inning so there is no need to drop him if you can’t find any value to replace him.

If you are in need of a replacement you could take a risk choosing from the team Clippard is leaving behind. It would appear that Eric O'Flaherty or Edward Mujica would step in as the closer moving forward for the A's. Neither pitcher has been particularly great this season, both sporting ERA’s above 4.00. Each pitcher is less than 1% owned on ESPN leagues so if you’re willing to take a chance on one of them, you could wait to see who the team uses in the next week or so.

It is also possible that Sean Doolittle returns from the DL right into the closer role, but with the team out of contention, they may play it safe and leave him out all year. This is a situation to be monitored but the lack of success of the team overall makes all of the players below average pickups.


Craig Kimbrel, San Diego Padres

Kimbrel is one of the game's best closers and should be owned in every single fantasy league regardless for which team he plays. Rumors are that the Padres are shopping Kimbrel around trying to find a potential trade partner. The real news for us, would be what this does to the Padres bullpen.

The team has a luxury of great arms in the pen and would have a couple options at closer if Kimbrel is traded. The first being Joaquin Benoit who is only 21.1% owned in ESPN leagues. Benoit has a 2.27 ERA this season and has average nearly a strikeout per inning over 948.2 innings in his career. That's a pretty nice sample size. Benoit also could get traded before the deadline so monitor his status in case he is named the closer elsewhere.

Another option would be the young Brandon Mauerer who is without a save in his career. He could be thrust into the spotlight and is having his best season yet. He has stumbled a bit recently but still has a 2.63 ERA and has been reliable all season. At only 3.1% owned, be ready to jump on him if he is named the closer in San Diego.


Jonathan Papelbon, Philadelphia Phillies

It has been well documented that Papelbon wants out of Philly and the Blue Jays and Nationals seem to be the teams most interested. He would surely jump right in as the closer for either of these teams so his value would take a slight bump playing for a better team. Papelbon is still available in about 15% of all ESPN leagues and should be picked up immediately.

If he is traded, Ken Giles is likely to step in as the Phillies closer. While he may not get a ton of save chances playing for a terrible team, his 54 K’s in 43.2 innings make him a solid fantasy pickup. He is only 27.1% owned and should be scooped up if Papelbon is dealt.


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