Bullpen Report 7.21.17 July 21, 2017  |  Justin Klein

The trade winds are blowing strong as the Nationals went out and acquired Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the A’s while Blake Treinen was sent to Oakland as part of the deal. While it was unknown at first it appears that Sean Doolittle is the guy in Washington at the back end of games as he notched the only save since the deal went down. Although Doolittle allowed a run on a hit and a walk in that Nationals win on July 18th he secured the game and the save. Finally the dumpster fire in the Nationals bullpen seems to be burning out. Currently available in 65% of Yahoo leagues Sean Doolittle should be added in every league where he’s available regardless of format. While his 3.63 ERA doesn’t look elite his 12.49 K/9 is and his 2.51 FIP and 2.76 xFIP suggest that Sean’s a top 10-15 closer in the fake game. There’s a chance that Ryan Madson could sneak in some saves or that Washington could even pull the trigger on another bullpen piece. Heck you never really know with Dusty at the helm, but my money is on Doolittle for the rest of the season. Ryan Madson is currently available in 44% of Yahoo leagues and is a solid addition in most formats. He could see the occasional save, share the job or even take the majority of saves for one of the best teams in baseball. I believe that Doolittle is the guy, but that’s just like my opinion man. And that fact that Mike Rizzo, the Nationals GM, came out and said that Madson was their initial trade target with Oakland it says something. Go and pick him up if you are desperate for saves. He’s managed solid to elite ratios and K’s so it’s not like he’s going to wreck your ratios. Meanwhile in Oakland Santiago Casilla hasn’t instilled much hope after blowing a save by giving up two earned runs on three hits and a walk to Tampa Bay on the same say that Doolittle notched the save (July 18th). Casilla took the loss, but came back and tossed a perfect inning the next day while striking out two. Currently available in 42% of Yahoo leagues Santiago should be owned everywhere that saves are important. His ratios aren’t great and the K’s are mediocre, but saves are saves are saves. If he keeps blowing them there’s a chance that Blake Treinen would get the next chance. Currently available in 94% of Yahoo leagues he’s an option if you’re desperate or looking to throw a Hail Mary on saves in a Roto leagues. Not the worst option, but you’re probably not the next Doug Flutie and neither is he.

The Yankees made a big trade the other night and acquired both David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle in the process while sending Tyler Clippard to the south side of Chicago. Robertson owners were dealt a harsh blow as he won’t be closing up for one of the best teams, but instead setting up for a pretty good one. His value plummets in all but the deepest of leagues. There’s a chance that he collects a few saves in New York with Aroldis Chapman struggling and Belin Betances walking roughly a million per nine, but Kahnle is also in the picture and it’s a crowded bullpen. Speaking of Kahnle it’s hard to imagine him getting further away from the closer’s spot in a trade but here we are. It’s about the worst possible deal for him as far as the fake game goes because he might not even get that many holds now and the competition just went up along with the pressure to succeed. Back in Chicago it looks like Tyler Clippard is in line to collect some saves if the White Sox are ever in position to be ahead by 1-3 runs late in the game. At this point it looks like they’ll be a strong contender for a decade, but that window probably won’t slide open for another year or so. Serisouly though someone has to close for the White Sox and the best options are Clippard and Anthony Swarzak. If you are interested you can grab Tyler Clippard in 78% of Yahoo leagues. He’s posted below average numbers (for him) this season, as he’s notched a woeful 4.95 ERA, but he has the vaunted “closer experience.” Plus Rick Renteria, Chicago’s manager, has said that he’ll get the first shot. So there’s that. If you need saves and he’s available go and pick him up. They might not be pretty, but saves are saves. I wouldn’t be surprised if Swarzak were to take the job, but I’m also surprised that they didn’t give him the first chance. If he pitched well in the ninth maybe they could deal him too. Anthony has posted a solid 2.45 ERA with a 2.30 FIP and a 9.82 K/9 so it’s not like he doesn’t have the skill set to be successful in the role. If you want to speculate on him you can go out and get him in 82% of Yahoo leagues.


In Baltimore Brad Brach is still closing out games for the Orioles although Zach Britton is supposed to be transitioning back into the closing role. Owning either of them is nerve racking at this point because both are possible trade candidates or could even lose out on saves without a trade happening. Either Britton could fail or become injured again or he could retake the closing gig. Or one or both of them could get traded to a team like the Astros or Dodgers where they would likely assume a set up role. It’s a shaky time to own an Oriole RP.

A few other speculative closers that are likely being discussed and bandied about in trades are Justin Wilson being dealt away from Detroit, Kelvin Herrera leaving KC and the Braves dealing Jim Johnson. In Atlanta it appears that they’d give the job to flamethrower Aroydis Vizcaino if Johnson were dealt. Arodys is available in 83% of Yahoo leagues if you’d like to speculate. Meanwhile Jim Johnson would likely set up if he were traded. In KC the next man up would likely be Joakim Soria, who’s out there in 93% of Yahoo leagues, but it’s hard to foresee a situation where Herrera would be traded and Soria wouldn’t join me on his way out the door. In that case I believe that Mike Minor would get the closing gig in KC for the rest of the season. Currently available in 88% of Yahoo leagues Minor has been extremely good this season and because of it he would likely be a top 15 or so closer if he were given the opportunity. Soria is nothing more than a set up man these days and Herrera’s days as a closer would totally depend on what team he were traded to if that were to happen. Last but not least if Justin Wilson is dealt away from Detroit he probably wouldn’t close for whatever team acquired him. There’s a small chance that he would, but it’s unlikely. While Shane Green, who’s free to add in 97% of leagues, has been solid this season I’m not sure he’d be the next guy up in Detroit. Bruce Rondon has been pitching in a set up role and Joe Jimenez is the heir apparent waiting in the wings in the minor leagues. Rondon has always had the stuff to close but has never been able to put it together for more than a couple of outings at the big league level. He’s free in 99% of Yahoo leagues but has left a trail of tears and wrecked ratios for all who have crossed his path in the fake game up until now. Joe Jimenez has the best skills of all three guys in Detroit, but he’s currently pitching in the minor leagues and it’s not as if his call up is eminent. He’s out there in 99% of Yahoo leagues if you’re desperate in a deep dynasty league or something.


Without further ado, I give you the almighty closer chart; kneel before thee:

LA Dodgers Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez
& Brandon Morrow
Boston Red Sox Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes & Heath Hembree Tyler Thornburg
& Carson Smith
Colorado Rockies Greg Holland Adam Ottavino & Jake McGee
Chicago Cubs Wade Davis Koji Uehara
& Carl Edwards Jr
New York Yankees Aroldis Chapman Dellin Betances, David Robertson & Tommy Kahnle
Toronto Blue Jays Roberto Osuna Ryan Tepara & Danny Barnes
Pittsburgh Pirates Felipe Rivero Juan Nicasio & Daniel Hudson Tony Watson
Cincinnati Reds Raisel Iglesias Michael Lorenzen
& Drew Storen
Milwaukee Brewers Corey Knebel Jacob Barnes & Carlos Torres
Houston Astros Ken Giles Will Harris
& Chris Devenski
Seattle Mariners Edwin Diaz James Pazos & Steve Cishek
Cleveland Indians Cody Allen & Andrew Miller Bryan Shaw
Tampa Bay Rays Alex Colome Tommy Hunter
& Brad Boxberger
Arizona Diamondbacks Fernando Rodney Archie Bradley & Jorge DeLaRosa
KC Royals Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria
& Matt Strahm
LA Angels of Anaheim Bud Norris Cam Bedrosian & David Hernandez
Baltimore Orioles Brad Brach & Zach Britton Darren O’Day & Mychal Givens
Washington Nationals Sean Doolittle & Ryan Madson Matt Albers & Enny Romero Koda Glover & Shawn Kelley
New York Mets Addison Reed Hansel Robles & Fernando Salas Jeurys Familia
Miami Marlins AJ Ramos Brad Ziegler & Kyle Barraclough
Philadelphia Phillies Hector Neris Pat Neshek & Joaquin Benoit
Detroit Tigers Justin Wilson Bruce Rondon
& Shane Green
Joe Jimenez
San Diego Padres Brandon Maurer Ryan Buchter
& Brad Hand
St Louis Cardinals Seung hwan Oh & Trevor Rosenthal Brett Cecil & Matt Bowman
Atlanta Braves Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino
& Jose Ramirez
Oakland Athletics Santiago Casilla Blake Treinen
& Liam Hendricks
Texas Rangers Keone Kela & Alex Caludio Matt Bush & Jose Leclerc
Minnesota Twins Brandon Kintzler Anthony Swarzak, Taylor Rodgers
& Matt Belisle
Glen Perkins
SF Giants Sam Dyson Hunter Strickland & George Kontos Mark Melancon
Chicago White Sox Tyler Clippard Gregory Infante
& Dan Jennings
Nate Jones
updated: 7/21/17

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