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Thursday, July 19, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: KIRBY YATES STEPS INTO THE BIG CHAIR AFTER BRAD HAND DEAL

In case your slept through the morning, the big news in the fantasy baseball world on Thursday was the Cleveland Indians picking up closer Brad Hand from the San Diego Padres for a package highlighted by top catching prospect Francisco Mejia.  As always when it comes to trades of a closer from one team to the next, a new stopper must ascend to the throne to finish off games and in the Padres' case, that means 31-year-old veteran setup man Kirby Yates gets his long-awaited shot.  I sat long-awaited due to the fact that Yates has been a strikeout monster the last two seasons in rocking insane K/9 rates of 13.98 in 2017 and currently at 11.47 this season.  Add in his tiny 1.43 ERA this season and Yates seems well-suited to being a closer and thus, he should have already been added by the time you read this. 

On the flip side, there are conflicting reports about what the setup will be in Cleveland with Hand joining incumbent but struggling closer Cody Allen and longtime dominant setup man Andrew Miller.  On the surface it would seem this move was made to get Hand into the ninth inning since Allen has been a shell of his All-Star past this season but manager Terry Francona has long had a soft spot for Allen in sticking with him through some ugly months in the past.  Be that as it may, Hand should not be cut in any leagues at this point as we still don't know what will take place here.  My money says he leads the Indians in saves from here on out. 


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