July 14, 2016
BUY+: This player has a strong chance (at least 50%) of becoming a closer by the trade deadline.
BUY: This player has a small chance (at least 20%) of becoming a closer by the trade deadline.
SELL: This player has a small chance (at least 20%) of losing his closer job by the trade deadline.
SELL+: This player has a large chance (at least 50%) of losing his closer job by the trade deadline.
TL;DR – NL relievers
BUY: Mauricio Cabrera, Jake Barrett, Edubray Ramos.
SELL: Arodys Vizcaino, Jeremy Jeffress, Jeanmar Gomez, Daniel Hudson, Tyler Clippard, Santiago Casilla.
SELL+: Hector Rondon.
Atlanta Braves – The Braves have the worst record in baseball at the All-Star break and that will likely mean some players getting dealt at the trade deadline. The Red Sox were rumored to be interested in closer Arodys Vizcaino. Veteran Jim Johnson, who the Braves traded last season, could be on the move again. The Braves have a young flame thrower in Mauricio Cabrera, and they may want to audition him in the closer’s role in the second half of this season if Vizcaino is dealt. BUY: Jim Johnson, Mauricio Cabrera, SELL: Arodys Vizcaino.
Miami Marlins– The surprising Marlins have already acquired former Padres closer Fernando Rodney. A.J. Ramos has been great and is still the closer, and the Marlins’ bullpen is deep with David Phelps and Kyle Barraclough. We don’t see any potential trades that would shake up the back end of this pen. BUY/SELL: None.
New York Mets – The Mets are all set at closer with All-Star Jeurys Familia, and set-up man Addison Reed had a stellar first half. The Mets could look to acquire some bullpen help, but it won’t affect Familia. BUY/SELL: None.
Philadelphia Phillies – After a disastrous start to the season for the Phillies’ bullpen, Jeanmar Gomez has developed into a reliable closer. Gomez came out of nowhere to claim the job and, as a result, some think the Phillies would be smart to trade him now while his value is high. Prospect Edubray Ramos has been impressive so far and that could also make Gomez expendable. BUY: Edubray Ramos, SELL: Jeanmar Gomez.
Washington Nationals – The Nationals have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Aroldis Chapman; if that were to happen, Jonathan Papelbon would likely lose his job as closer. However, it’s probably more likely that the Nationals will not acquire an elite reliever such as Chapman, and Papelbon would keep the job over most other relievers on the market. We’ll still put a slight sell on Papelbon due to the Chapman rumors. SELL: Jonathan Papelbon.
Chicago Cubs – Hector Rondon might be one of the most underrated closers in baseball, but that hasn’t stopped the rumors about the Cubs acquiring Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller (or both). Miller seems to be the guy that is highest on the Cubs’ wish list and, given how dominant he has been this year, he would be expected to steal save chances from Rondon, if not completely take the job. The Cubs have been struggling recently, so they will be aggressive at the trade deadline. SELL: Hector Rondon.
Cincinnati Reds – Tony Cingrani has offered some stability to the Reds’ bullpen, and Raisel Iglesias has been solid in relief. Still, their bullpen has been one of the worst in the majors this year, and it’s unlikely that any changes will dramatically alter that. BUY/SELL: None.
Milwaukee Brewers – With the Brewers 14.5 games back in the NL Central at the break, they will be looking to move some players. A couple of the guys being mentioned are closer Jeremy Jeffress and set-up man Will Smith. Jeffress is unlikely to close if he gets traded to a contender, so he could lose fantasy value. Will Smith could close if Jeffress is traded — but Smith could also be dealt, which would open the door for Tyler Thornburg to get a shot at closing in the second half. BUY: Tyler Thornburg, SELL: Jeremy Jeffress.
Pittsburgh Pirates – A few weeks ago, the Pirates were reeling, and it looked like they would be sellers at the deadline. However, a strong run to finish the first half has the Pirates back in the thick of things; as a result, closer Mark Melancon is probably not going to be moved. BUY/SELL: None.
St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal has had a rough season, and with Kevin Siegrist recently going on the DL, the Cardinals might be in the market for some bullpen help. Seung Hwan Oh has been great for the Cardinals, but he’s still new to closing for the team, and could lose the job if they acquire someone else at the deadline. SELL: Seung Hwan Oh.
Arizona Diamondbacks – With closer Brad Ziegler already gone, the Diamondbacks could be looking to make more deals. Tyler Clippard and Daniel Hudson are expected to share closing duties with Ziegler gone, but they could both be trade candidates as well. Hudson is in the final year of his contract, and if he and Clippard are dealt, youngster Jake Barrett could get a look. BUY: Jake Barrett, SELL: Daniel Hudson, Tyler Clippard.
Colorado Rockies – The Rockies’ bullpen is starting to get healthy, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out the rest of the season among current closer Carlos Estevez and former closers Jake McGee and Adam Ottavino. However, we don’t expect those three to be involved in any trades — so as far as the trade deadline goes, the Rockies bullpen should be pretty quiet. BUY/SELL: None
Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers have a stud closer in Kenley Jansen and won’t be making any deals to replace him at the deadline. Joe Blanton has turned into a reliable reliever, and Pedro Baez has been solid. If the Dodgers acquire any relief help, it will just add depth. BUY/SELL: None.
San Diego Padres – The Padres already traded All-Star closer Fernando Rodney, and they will probably roll with Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter for the rest of the season to see what they have there. BUY/SELL: None.
San Francisco Giants – The Giants have the best record in baseball, but their bullpen hasn’t been great. There has been some controversy around Santiago Casilla, who was very unhappy about being pulled in the middle of the inning during a couple save opportunities. Sergio Romo has returned from injury, and should help the bullpen, but the Giants have also been rumored to be interested in the Yankees’ big two, Miller and Chapman. If the Giants want to continue their streak of winning the World Series in even years, they might decide to upgrade their closer situation. SELL: Santiago Casilla.