August 4, 2017
Closers of 2018
We’ve flipped the calendar over to August, which means the MLB trade deadline has passed and player are, more or less, where they will be for the rest of the season. It also means that our fantasy trade deadlines are quickly approaching. This is obviously a busy time of year, particularly for those of us in longer-term leagues. If you’re the owner of a team that is not in contention this year, it’s time to start thinking of next year. With that in mind, I thought today I would attempt to predict the closer landscape for next year. Obviously, there are going to be events that I cannot predict, but it’s useful to know who could get saves in the following season and try now to get them on the cheap. So, with that in mind, here is a link to who I see closing for each team at the start of next season. Below is an explanation for teams that are seeing a change from who is closing right now.
So, we start with the team for whom I have the least confidence with my pick. Arizona currently has Fernando Rodney as their closer, and while he’s had great stretches this year he’s a free agent after the season and will be 41 by the time next year starts. I can’t imagine he’s coming back. Archie Bradley would be the next guy in line on the team, and he’s shown this year he has the talent to be trusted with a closer role. That said, I think the Diamondbacks could value him more in a role that doesn’t tie him to one specific inning. Furthermore, this is a team in contention and with a solid rotation and a great core in the lineup, there aren’t a ton of areas to swing a big deal. On the other side of things, the Royals are expected to lose some of their biggest stars to free agency, so they could be looking to trade Herrera to kick-start their rebuild rather than losing him for nothing the following the winter. I feel strongly that Herrera will be traded, and the Diamondbacks made the most sense to me as a team with a need in the ninth inning. If they stay in-house, Rubby De La Rosa could be another option.