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Saturday, July 30, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE FALLOUT: MARK MELANCON KICKS JONATHAN PAPELBON TO CURB, NEFTALI FELIZ LIKELY TO STEP UP IN PITT.

The Washington Nationals made a resounding move to combat their chief NL rivals the Chicago Cubs after the latter acquired All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman to shore up their main weakness going into the stretch run of the season.  With their own closer Jonathan Papelbon melting down horrible over the last few weeks, the Nats were desperate for a solution themselves and they got one early Saturday in the form of Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Mark Melancon.  Melancon will come over to Washington now to close games in place of Papelbon, with the latter having lost almost all of his fantasy baseball value in the process.  Meanwhile Melancon remains one of the very best closers in the game as he totes a splendid 1.51 ERA and having nailed down 30 saves.  Melancon's value doesn't change much and that is of a top five closer no matter how you look at it.  Meanwhile in terms of the gaping hole now in the ninth inning in Pittsburgh, there are two candidates that include lefty Tony Watson and righty Neftali Feliz.  The real key here is that Feliz has the experience edge and he closed out successfully a game last Monday in place of a resting Melancon.  Feliz has been an abomination the last couple of seasons as he made his way back from elbow surgery but he has thrown well in 2016 with a 2.97 ERA and there is life back on his fastball with 45 whiffs in 39.1 innings.  Watson has been tremendous himself with a 2.66 ERA and has been a lockdown guy for his six seasons with the team.  If we had one spot to use, we would use it on Watson as he has gotten chances in the past when Melancon was injured but there is a case for both. 


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