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MLB Closers and Saves Report - Week 19

With the non-waiver trade deadline now a few days behind us, we can confidently say: "a lot happened." But, seemingly more so than other trade deadlines in previous seasons, this time around we can also say: "a lot didn't happen."

Zach Britton changed teams, to a team that absolutely no one suspected. Brad Hand changed teams. Also to a team not very highly suspected, and to a role much more confusing than his previous one. Keone Kela moved, but Shane Greene stayed put. Kyle Barraclough stayed home, but Ken Giles hopped on a plane.

All that and more in this week's Closers and Saves Report, so let's dive into the news, the best performers, and any suggested moves for your fantasy team this week:

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Bullpen News for Week 19

Because of all the trade deadline moves, this week's Bullpen News section will be more of a quick hit type of news update, providing you with all of the changes in bullpens around the league and letting you know who needs to be picked up, held onto, or let go.

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles sent their top two bullpen arms, Zach Britton and Brad Brach, away before the deadline. Britton went to the Yankees and Brach to the Braves. With those two gone, (along with Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop), the Orioles likely won't have too many save chances going forward. Whenever they do though, it seems Mychal Givens will be the one on the mound. Givens is only an option for owners desperate for a very occasional save.

New York Yankees

The Yankees added Zach Britton to their already strong bullpen, but he won't be closing or likely even pitching the eighth inning. Aroldis Chapman should hold down the ninth, and Dellin Betances should keep working the eighth. Britton can still be an effective reliever in holds leagues, but anyone hanging onto him in standard formats needs to cut bait.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays traded Roberto Osuna and Seung Hwan Oh, and acquired Ken Giles. Giles will slide into the back of the bullpen, but Ryan Tepera should still have the leg up on save duties. It's somewhat of a committee in Toronto, but Tepera could still be a helpful piece for those in deeper leagues.

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox traded Joakim Soria, who had been their closer, to the Milwaukee Brewers. It's likely to be a committee in Chicago's ninth inning, at least until someone proves himself worthy of taking the job. For now, Jace Fry, Xavier Cedeno, and Jeanmar Gomez will split save chances. Fry is the one who will probably take over full time sooner or later, and makes for the best speculative add.

Cleveland Indians

The Indians acquired Brad Hand before the deadline, and that move lowered the fantasy value not only of Hand, but also of Cody Allen. Allen will remain the closer in Cleveland for now, but he'll have serious competition from Hand and from Andrew Miller, who should be returning from the disabled list soon. This bullpen will be one to watch, with perhaps all three potentially elite arms taking a significant chunk away from the fantasy value of the other two.

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers were expected to trade closer Shane Greene and hand the ninth inning over to Joe Jimenez. That didn't happen, resulting in joy from Greene's owners, who were sure he would lose his fantasy value, and annoyance at least from Jimenez's owners, who have to deal with him still being only useful in holds leagues.

Houston Astros

The Astros acquired Roberto Osuna, which was a highly controversial move regardless of the baseball impact. Baseball-wise, it likely pushes everyone in the Astros bullpen down a notch on the bullpen hierarchy once Osuna returns from his suspension.

Oakland Athletics

The A's acquired former Mets closer Jeurys Familia, who will join the Oakland bullpen as a setup man. Blake Treinen retains his role in the ninth inning, but Familia should create a stronger bridge to get him the ball with a lead. Familia's value devolves into strictly holds leagues.

Texas Rangers

The Rangers dealt closer Keone Kela away, so Jose Leclerc will be the one to step into the ninth inning down in Texas. He should do a good enough job to be worth consideration in most formats, especially for those owners who may have lost a closer due to another trade.

Atlanta Braves

The Braves picked up the lesser of two Orioles relievers, adding Brad Brach to their bullpen. The Atlanta bullpen is and has been a committee, so Brach will join the likes of A.J. Minter, and Dan Winkler, but Minter was close to taking the ninth for himself before the trade, so it might not be long until he does that anyway. The Braves also picked up Darren O'Day, solidifying their bullpen and perhaps bringing more save chances into the ninth inning.

Miami Marlins

The Marlins hung onto Kyle Barraclough and Drew Steckenrider, perhaps deciding to "build around" their bullpen. They did move Brad Ziegler to the Diamondbacks, but that won't make much of a difference in terms of the Miami bullpen. Barraclough remains the one to own here.

New York Mets

The Mets sent closer Jeurys Familia to Oakland, leaving Anthony Swarzak as the head of their ninth inning committee. He'll work along with Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, but Swarzak looks like he could take the full-time job over fairly soon.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers picked up Joakim Soria from the White Sox. He'll slot into more of a middle relief role, as the Brewers already have an incredibly solid back end of the bullpen. Soria's fantasy value has completely vanished, even in holds leagues.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates traded for Keone Kela, who will slide into a setup role ahead of Felipe Vázquez. Vazquez remains the one to own, but Kela could shorten Vázquez's leash a bit in the Pittsburgh bullpen.

San Diego Padres

The Padres moved on from closer Brad Hand, sending him to Cleveland. Many believed they would also deal Kirby Yates, but they ended up hanging onto him. Yates should have some good value going forward, and should be owned in most formats.


Roster Moves of the Week

For this week, Roster Moves of the Week are included above, with the Bullpen News.


Best of the Week

Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees- 3 IP, 8 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman retired nine batters this week, striking out eight of them. He saved three games and ended up allowing just one hit and one walk.

Wade Davis, Colorado Rockies- 3 IP, 3 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP

Rockies closer Wade Davis had a perfect week, getting all nine batters he faced out while recording three strike outs and three saves.

Will Smith, San Francisco Giants, 3 1/3 IP, 6 K, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP

Giants closer Will Smith had a solid week, striking out six batters while picking up two saves. He allowed just two hits and also recorded a win.


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