Monday, July 27, 2015


Monday is here which means it is now time to once again delve in on the world of the fantasy baseball closer.  With not much happening in terms of any type of changes in the ninth inning over the last week. let's once again check in on the closers who continue to hear their names bandied about in trades. 

Francisco Rodriguez:  It has once again been an utterly dominant season out of the 33-year-old Rodriguez.  Having pitched to a 1.54 ERA with 39 K's in 34 innings, Rodriguez has been perfect collecting saves in closing out 22 games in 22 tries.  With the Brewers being completely out of the playoff race, Rodriguez became sort of a waste in Milwaukee, much in the same Jonathan Papelbon has become in Philadelphia.  The Toronto Blue Jays continued to be mentioned most prominently in terms of trade talks for Rodriguez but nothing appears imminent.  Anyone closer from another team that Toronto trades for will continue to close there, so that is an ideal place for Rodriguez to land in terms of preserving his terrific value.  Once again Will James is the handcuff for all Rodriguez owners, as the setup man has been ridiculous with a 1.75 ERA and a 50 strikeouts in 36 innings.  Smith is also signed through 2019 so he could be the long-term guy there at an affordable rate.

Jonathan Papelbon:  All Ken Giles owners are muttering to themselves, "Get it over with already!, in terms of dealing Papelbon.  The longtime All-Star veteran has been dominant to the tune of a 1.59 ERA and he has upped the K rate from 2014 as well which adds to the package.  Still the Phillieshave completely dragged their feet on Papelbon and their bumbling front office can't ever be trusted to do the sensible thing.  Papelbon is beyond steamed that he has not been traded yet and he has hinted that Toronto is the ideal place for him which is true.  Giles meanwhile has been terrific since his early April control problems and is the must own handcuff.

John Axford:  The wheels have started to come off for Axford this summer, having posted a 5.40 ERA in June and an even worse 6.43 mark in July.  That means whoever deals for Axford likely won't make him a closer.  So if you own shares in Axford, you actually want him to stay put since he will likely still close there.  Behind Axford is nothing but a huge mess, with no obvious replacement among washed up LaTroy Hawkins and Rafael Betancourt.  Just an ugly situation there and not worth your time one bit. 

Craig Kimbrel:  This one is interesting as Kimbrel has been back to his top closer self over the last month after shockingly being a bit off his game in April, May, and early June.  Kimbrel can be a huge difference-maker wherever he lands and the San Diego Padres have no use for him now that they are out of the playoff race.  Could win a team a World Series wherever he goes.  Joaquin Benoit would close if Kimbrel goes but he too could also be dealt so this is a fluid deal there. 

Tyler Clippard:  Only a matter of time before Clippard is sent packing as Billy Beane almost always sells off guys he won't bring back the following season and sometimes even earlier than that time period.  Clippard made his name as a top setup man in Washington but he has done a great job in Oakland closing games in place of the injured Sean Doolittle.  Fernando Rodriguez looks like an intriguing saves hedge, with also Eric Scribner possibly being involved.  Also veteran Edward Mujica is there as well and we all know guys who have done it before get a lot of attention. 

As always stay tuned to the latest news as it happens.  Follow us on Twitter @RotoBoss.  We will be there every step of the way with regards to all the trades around the game. 


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