Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Way back in May we wrote about the potential closers who could be on the move as the July 31 trade deadline approached and thus possibly be out of a job if they were sent to a team that would use them as a setup man.  One guy at the top of that list was Oakland A's stopper Tyler Clippard as he team quickly fell out of contention and they had no ownership of the former All-Star setup man for the Washington Nationals after 2015.  Billy Beane has been known to complete a trade or two in his time which made Clippard's precarious standing even more stark.  Fast forward to trade deadline week and Clippard in fact was moved to the New York Mets late Monday for a minor league pitcher.  As a result Clippard will now move into the eighth inning setup role for the Mets in front of closer Jeurys Familia, at least initially.  We saw initially due to the fact Familia has blown his last two save chances amid concerns he could be dealing with a tired arm in his first season as a closer.  The Mets clearly had the idea of having Clippard be sort of a backup closer for Familia which should continue to keep his name interesting despite the fact he currently has lost almost all of his value now that he won't be getting saves at the moment. 

Meanwhile there is now a firm opening for a closer in Oakland with Clippard out of town and Sean Doolittle injured for the duration of 2015.  Two names instantly come to the forefront as far as who could take over, one a veteran and one a youngster.  The veteran is Edward Mujica who was actually let go by the Boston Red Sox earlier this season when he struggled mightily to the tune of a 4.62 ERA in setup.  The A's brought Mujica in and he has responded with good but not great pitching with a 3.68 ERA.  The WHIP with Oakland has been stellar though at 1.02 and a fluke 3 home runs given up in 14.2 innings are the main reason for the bloated ERA.  Mujica has been a very solid reliever over the years and in 2013 he pitched to a 2.78 ERA while nailing down 37 saves.  Most managers always fall back on the veteran guy in situations such as this when a closer is changed during the season and that makes Mujica the one guy to grab above anyone else in the Oakland bullpen. 

The other name we found mildly interesting is who had a 3.60 ERA and 1.03 WHIP for the A's this season in setup.  The K rate checks out with 38 strikeouts in only 30 innings but Rodriguez is more a hedge than anything and we still think Mujica will be the guy at least initially. 

With a few more days to go before the trade deadline, there surely will be some more closer situations that could change again once Friday arrives.  Stay tuned. 


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