It’s mid-August, your Fantasy deadline may have passed, and perhaps your Fantasy Baseball season is over, as well. If you’re in a keeper or dynasty league, that doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention to your Fantasy Baseball team to focus on Fantasy Football. One thing I like to do in such leagues is look at the waiver wire and see if I can acquire a top setup man who may close next season for a low price. This assumes you don’t have better keepers. Someone like Archie Bradley (Diamondbacks) or Keynan Middleton (Angels) can be a cheap pickup that will prove valuable next March. Fantasy just never ends. Bradley, has been lights out this season. He hasn’t allowed a HR since May 29 and his ERA since then is 2.08. He could be the Diamondbacks’ closer in 2018.
Chicago White Sox: Who is left in the White Sox bullpen? David Robertson was traded to the Yankees. Tommy Kahnle was also moved to the Bronx. Anthony Swarzak was sent to Milwaukee and then Monday night, the Sox moved Tyler Clippard (acquired from the Yankees in the Robertson/Kahnle deal) to Houston. So that leaves Chicago with Juan Minaya as their closer. Who, you ask? He’s not a top prospect or someone who is a must-add but since July 1, he does have a 3.14 ERA and is striking out close to 12 batters per nine innings. So, he just may be the best of what Chicago has left. The team may also give Jake Petricka a look.
Houston Astros: Although Clippard was closing for the White Sox, he won’t be doing the same for Houston. Ken Giles is the closer, and he’s safe. Clippard will perform a setup role in either the eighth or ninth inning with Luke Gregerson. Clippard has little to no value now in Fantasy leagues. He has pitched better since the trade to Chicago, but he’s not a strikeout pitcher and is still prone to blowups.
Los Angeles Angels: Cam Bedrosian is closing again for the Angels. Bud Norris just had too many implosions and was removed from the role. He had been a ticking time bomb for a few weeks, especially when it came out at the trade deadline that the team was looking to move him. Bedrosian is the team’s best reliever, but he’s also one that hasn’t proved he can stay healthy for any length of time. The Angels, however, are staying in the wildcard hunt and could produce their fair share of save opportunities. Therefore, he is a pickup if you need saves, or if you want to block your opponent from getting them.
New York Mets: Jeurys Familia (shoulder) is currently on a rehab assignment and could be ready to return to the Mets at the end of August or in early September. Even when he returns, though, he may not automatically return to being a closer and with the Mets out of contention, maybe he doesn’t return to close until next season. Either way, the worst-case scenario for A.J. Ramos owners is that you only have him closing for three more weeks.
San Francisco Giants: Mark Melancon has returned for the Giants, but he will have to prove he is healthy and can be effective in lower-leverage situations before being returned to close out games. He has already had one such outing, and may need two-three more before manager Bruce Bochy inserts him back into save situations and removes Sam Dyson.
As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.[table “2150” not found /]