Thursday, July 20, 2017


The MLB trade deadline is less than two weeks away and some big-time closer names are already being prominently mentioned in rumors.  We have already seen the Washington Nationals made a deal for new closer Sean Doolittle who may share the gig with Ryan Madson who came over in the same trade with the Oakland A's.  We also have seen David Robertson traded away from his closing job with the Chicago White Sox to a setup role with the New York Yankees.  In Robertson's place became Tyler Clippard who the Yanks sent Chicago's way.  Count on some others trades re-shaping the closer landscape and so let's identify who could be possible replacements.

Justin Wilson:  Recent reports indicate that up to a ridiculous 13 teams are involved in trade talks for the Tigers lefty closer.  That means it is almost a guarantee Wilson will be moved and the two obvious possible replacements are hard-throwing Bruce Rondon and setup man Shane Greene.  A failed starter, Greene has pitched to a 2.93 ERA and registered a very impressive 9.84 K/9 rate.  It is clear Greene's repertoire works better in the bullpen as he has gotten hit hard when starting and so on merit, he is the handcuff.  Rondon has been a popular possible future closer candidate for the Tigers in the past but his horrific control makes him a bad fit.

Zach Britton:  The Baltimore Orioles have said that Britton is set to resume closing games after his almost entire first half was ravaged by injuries.  A consensus top three closer entering into the season and coming off a nearly flawless 2016, the Orioles are prepared to trade him away.  Part of the reason for that is the success of Brad Brach in Britton's place this season and so if anyone dropped the latter, pick him up immediately.

A.J. Ramos:  The Miami Marlins have already traded away top setup man David Phelps to the Seattle Mariners and Ramos is reportedly next to go.  Always plagued by shoddy control, Ramos has ridden impressive strikeout totals to show himself to be a competent mid-tier closer.  In his place figures to be strikeout machine Kyle Barraclough but the righty has not exactly been lights out with a 3.53 ERA and brutal 6.23 BB/9.  Still Barraclough is just one year removed from a 2.85 ERA and 14.00 K/9 so he should be given a chance.

Addison Reed:  The New York Mets have no reason to hold onto the free agent-to-be Reed and so expect a deal to get done here soon.  Count on the Mets going to a committee involving Paul Sewald and Jerry Blevins until Jeurys Familia returns to health.

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