Trade Deadline Buy/Sell Report: National League Closers

July 18, 2013


BUY+: This player has a large chance of becoming a closer by the trade deadline.
BUY: This player has a small chance of becoming a closer by the trade deadline.
SELL: This player has a small chance of losing his closer job by the trade deadline.
SELL+: This player has a large chance of losing his closer job by the trade deadline.

TL;DR Version
BUY+: Blake Parker; Jim Henderson
BUY: Antonio Bastardo; John Axford; Rex Brothers; Luke Gregerson
SELL: Francisco Rodriguez; Rafael Betancourt; Huston Street
SELL+: Brad Zeigler

Atlanta Braves – The Braves are all set at closer, although they might well add a setup arm like Oliver Perez or Jesse CrainBUY/SELL: None. 
Miami Marlins – Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn are likely to remain Fish this season, although pending free agent Chad Qualls could soon be headed to, um, bluer waters. BUY/SELL: None. 
New York Mets – The Mets claim they will need to be “blown away” to trade Bobby Parnell, but even if they remember that he’s Bobby Parnell and change their mind, his value is unlikely to drastically change. Any team who goes to the trouble to pry him away from Queens will probably use him to close. BUY/SELL: None.
Philadelphia Phillies – With Jonathan Papelbon on the market, the euphonious Antonio Bastardo is just a trade away from closing. BUY: Antonio Bastardo.
Washington Nationals – The Nats are set in the bullpen and might add some depth at starting pitcher. Drew Storen might be an attractive option for a team in need of a closer. BUY/SELL: None.

Chicago Cubs – 35-year-old Kevin Gregg is one of the hottest arms available at the deadline, just as everyone predicted in April. If Gregg leaves Chicago, Blake Parker stands ready to take advantage of the opportunity to close. BUY+: Blake Parker.
Cincinnati Reds – Cincinnati’s bullpen has been excellent lately, and Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton are expected to return from the DL soon; the Reds don’t need to make a move in this areaBUY/SELL: None.
Milwaukee Brewers – The Brewers have said that they won’t move Jim Henderson, who is well-positioned to move back into closing when they do trade Francisco Rodriguez. John Axford might be moved as well, but even if he’s not, we think he’s more likely to get save opportunities going forward than a traded K-Rod. BUY+: Jim Henderson. BUY: John Axford. SELL: Francisco Rodriguez.
Pittsburgh Pirates – Pittsburgh’s bullpen has been very good, so if they do make a move, it would probably be only to add a setup manBUY/SELL: None.
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals have the best record in baseball and a solid bullpen but, like most teams, they would add another middle reliever if the price were right. BUY/SELL: None.

Arizona Diamondbacks – An ugly, unsettled bullpen situation in Phoenix could lead to a deadline move and a new closer; even without a trade, Brad Zeigler probably can’t hang on for long. SELL+: Brad Ziegler.
Colorado Rockies – The Rockies might move Rafael Betancourt in exchange for a starting pitcher, at which point Rex Brothers would again ascend to close. BUY: Rex Brothers. SELL: Rafael Betancourt.
Los Angeles Dodgers – LA might move Brandon League (if anyone would bite) or bring in another setup guy, but none of the changes should affect anyone’s ninth inning. BUY/SELL: None.
San Diego Padres – Huston Street is available, and even Luke Gregerson and Dale Thayer might be on the market as the Padres move into sale mode after a recent collapse. Street seems most likely to be traded, which would improve Gregerson’s value as it lowered Street’s. BUY: Luke Gregerson. SELL: Huston Street. 
San Francisco Giants – Jeremy Affeldt or Javier Lopez could move, but Sergio Romo is safe. BUY/SELL: None.