Closures and Savings Report – Week 19
Well, that was a wild trade deadline, wasn’t it? Some teams that had to do a lot didn’t do much. Some teams that didn’t need to do much did the most. And then some teams did exactly what everyone expected. It seemed like a particularly hectic trade deadline, even as several teams started to close their deals earlier in the week and many of the players everyone expected to move stayed put.
By now, you have already read all the trade deadline agreements, so we will not focus on each of them in this article. Instead, let’s take a look at which teams have lost their loved ones and what the plan might be for the rest of the season. We’ll cover some shorter business nuggets at the end.
Be sure to keep an eye out for our RotoBaller Closers and Saves Bullpen Depth Charts. They’re updated on a daily basis, or sometimes even more often in this crazy 2021 baseball season. That being said, here are the paddock waiver closings, saves, and pickups to consider for Week 19 – of the 9th. to August 15.
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News from the pen for the week
With Ian Kennedy closing for the Phillies now, the Rangers found themselves without an experienced closer. Kennedy was always expected to be traded, and the prevailing idea was that southpaw Joely Rodriguez would take over from the ninth inning in Texas. Rodriguez ended up being traded before Kennedy, as part of Joey Gallo’s trade with the Yankees. So who stays in the Ranger pen? Enter Spencer Patton. For now, he’s just the head of the committee, but he seems like the reliever with the best chance of winning a save in that pen. Josh Sborz and Joe Barlow might also get mixed up, but Patton is the guy if you’re in desperate need of a chance to quit. He’s a 33-year-old who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016, but he’s been excellent in his 20 innings this year, striking out 27 on catches while walking just seven and posting an ERA of 3.15 / 2.82 FIP.
Risers: Spencer Patton
The Marlins had to move relievers by the deadline, and they moved two: John Curtiss (to the Brewers) and closest Yimi Garcia (to the Astros). There were rumblings from other potentially inappropriate guys like Dylan Floro, Anthony Bass, Ross Detwiler and Richard Bleier, but they all stayed with the team. With their tie-up, the Marlins have looked to Dylan Floro on every stoppage opportunity since the trade. Floro is a pretty decent relief pitcher, but he’s not a guy with “closer stuff”. Then again, neither did Yimi Garcia, and her job never seemed to be in danger. Despite having an exciting young arm with swing-and-miss stuff at Anthony Bender, we can expect Floro to work in the ninth inning for the remainder of the season.
Risers: Dylan Floro
Fallers: Anthony Bender
Pirates of pittsburgh
The Pirates sent their closest, Richard Rodriguez, to the Braves before the deadline. The Pirates will certainly start with a committee, but David Bednar got the first chance and looks most likely to take over. Chris Stratton and Chasen Shreve might get a chance or two every now and then, but Bednar seems to be the guy. He’s a 26-year-old with good stuff whose only real concern is a high homerun rate. If he can cut that down, he could be one of the best closers in the league. So far, he has pitched 43 innings with a 2.72 ERA and 30.6 K%.
Risers: David Bednar
Everyone knew Craig Kimbrel wouldn’t be in the Cubs when the calendar said August. But very few people thought he would still be in Chicago. Kimbrel at the White Sox was one of the most surprising deadline deals overall and certainly the most surprising move in the reliever box (with the Graveman / Castillo situation in second). As Kimbrel joins Liam Hendriks in forming one of the best 1-2 punches we’ve ever seen, the Cubs were left with plenty of question marks. The Cubs have used Kyle Ryan and Manuel Rodriguez in save situations since the deadline, and Codi Heuer appears to be making his way to the status of ace of the pen. This could be the most loyal committee of all the “new” reliever pens, with no real favorites for saves on any given day. It’s a bullpen pen best avoided in standard formats, but those in deeper catch leagues or managers looking for ratios might take a look at Heuer. Rowan Wick is recovering from an oblique injury, but he could also be in the race for saves once he gets back into high gear.
Risers: Codi Heuer
Tampa Bay stingrays / Seattle Marines
So while all the other teams that traded their door closers were clear sellers, the Rays and Mariners made trades involving their door closers despite being buyers. The Mariners sent Kendall Graveman to the Astros, which would have caused clubhouse problems in Seattle. It left a lot of people wondering what they were doing … until they acquired Diego Castillo from the Rays. Castillo comes out as the closest to the Mariners and dramatically improves his fantastic value, moving from the carousel that is the bullpen in Tampa to a stronger, more consistent ninth-inning role. Meanwhile, the Rays Relievers box has lost one of its usual ninth inning players in the trade, but they have also lost other ninth inning regulars to injuries. JP Feyereisen, Nick Anderson, Jeffrey Springs and Peter Fairbanks are all on the injured list. That leaves a revolving door of Matt Wisler, Andrew Kittredge, Ryan Sherriff, and possibly someone no one has ever heard of that the Rays turn into a huge barred out of nowhere. While this is a very good team with very good reliever box arms, it’s best to leave the Rays reliever box alone in most standard formats for now. It’s a total day-to-day guessing game.
Risers: Diego Castillo
Fallers: Kendall Graveman
The Nationals moved closer to another country, trading Brad Hand to the Toronto Blue Jays. Hand immediately integrates into the north, alongside Jordan Romano. In DC, Kyle Finnegan has settled into the role of Closer, with Gabe Klobosits and Ryne Harper setting him up. Tanner Rainey and Wander Suero were both seen as possible ninth inning substitutes, but both struggled and were sent off to work on things in the minor leagues. Finnegan is a pretty good reliever, but with the Nationals certainly struggling to secure leads, he might not end up with too many chances to save. Still, it’s one of the only new closers to have the place locked to itself, so it might be worth a look in some deeper save formats.
Risers: Kyle Finnegan
Fallers: Tanner Rainey, Wander Suero
-The Orioles were supposed to trade relievers, but ultimately didn’t do much. Cole Sulser, Dillon Tate and Paul Fry should continue to share their chances of saving in Baltimore.
-The Reds reliever box got some help for the trade deadline, but they couldn’t find a guy who could go straight into their ninth inning. Mychal Givens has had some important rounds since the deadline, but Heath Hembree’s struggles actually led Michael Lorenzen to make his way to the ninth round. It’s a committee again in Cincinnati, but Lorenzen could take the job and run with it.
-While the Kimbrel / Hendriks combo will be great to see in real life, it instantly sliced their two fantastic values in half. It’s a tough situation for fantasy managers because they both still have a lot of advantages. The White Sox could win enough games that it didn’t matter.
-The Twins traded Hansel Robles and may not get Tyler Rogers back this season. They will use a committee of Alex Colome, Tyler Duffey and Caleb Thielbar for their ninth round.
-Kendall Graveman slips in as primary set-up ahead of Ryan Pressly in Houston. It’s a huge blow to his value in the stop-only leagues, but doesn’t change much in the take formats.
– One way or another, the Diamondbacks were able to trade Joakim Soria. That leaves an already bad bullpen, but veteran Tyler Clippard should be back to earn saves, this time for Arizona.
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