Clippard Traded to the Mets
In what has been inevitable for a while, Tyler Clippard has finally been traded, landing with the Mets. As I mentioned last week, the picture behind Clippard in Oakland is less than clear. I speculated that Drew Pomeranz could get some save chances, but it appears they’ll be looking at him as a starter again. I still believe Fernando Rodriguez is the best option. He’s been phenomenal this year, striking out more than 11 batters per nine innings while walking fewer than three. At 31 years old, this is a good time for the A’s to give him a spotlight and flip him in the offseason. With that being said, Edward Mujica and Eric O’Flaherty could be getting the first crack. If I had to pick someone for immediate saves, I’d choose Mujica. Rodriguez should get the most saves over the rest of the season, though.
As for Clippard, his fantasy value is about to take a hit. Jeurys Familia has been too good to lose his closer job, and it appears Clippard will be brought in for setup duties. He’s still a solid reliever in deeper leagues, but he’s not in the Dellin Betances/Wade Davis tier. I wouldn’t hesitate to drop him in shallower leagues where more upside is available.
The Rays Might Trade Everyone
Owning relievers from Tampa Bay is always a risk, because they’re always candidates to be traded if they’re playing well. This is currently the case for both Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee, who are both getting save chances and have both been rumored to be on the trade market. It remains unclear how likely it is that both players are dealt this week, but it would certainly be a blow to fantasy owners. Boxberger was an All-Star this year and has been very good over the last few years, but he doesn’t have the kind of track record to guarantee a closer job on a new team. McGee would almost certainly be a setup man on a new team. I feel like it’s much more likely that McGee is dealt and Boxberger stays, but if you’re nervous about the latter receiving a role demotion, you could go out and shop him before it happens. Meanwhile, if the crazy happens and both are traded, Kevin Jepsen is the obvious choice to close, as he’s already gotten a few chances this year.
The Nationals Want Everyone
Not a ton has happened in terms of trades just yet, and this rumors is unlikely to happen, but it had me interested. Reports have Washington connected to Craig Kimbrel and Jonathan Papelbon. It would be an interesting move, as the Nationals have already gotten a fantastic season from their current closer, Drew Storen. One would imagine they’d be targeting set-up types like Jim Johnson or John Axford instead of someone who would steal the ninth inning from a guy with a 1.36 ERA and a 2.39 FIP since the start of 2014. With that being said, the Nationals are clearly in win-now mode, and we’re seeing more and more teams go with the Royals method of grouping elite relievers in the back of the bullpen. I wouldn’t make any rash trades as a Storen owner just yet, as the Nationals would have to pay a hefty price to land one of these guys, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on.
Is Ziegler a Trade Candidate?
When I went through all the trade candidates last week, I failed to include Brad Ziegler. The column was already running long and I hadn’t heard any rumors about him. Since then, there has at least been speculation around him. The Diamondbacks are out of it this year, Ziegler is a free agent after the season, and he’s 36 years old and has performed well since taking over the closer role from Addison Reed. There are plenty of reasons for it to happen. However, Arizona is reportedly looking for a big haul in return for Ziegler, something they won’t get. While he’s gotten good results, the peripherals don’t look like those of a pitcher teams will pay a ransom for. On the off chance that he is traded, however, the Diamondbacks have a few candidates to close games. Daniel Hudson would be my first guess, but David Hernandez and Andrew Chafin are candidates as well.
Glen Perkins had a rough outing on Saturday for his second blown save of the season. In fact, it was Perkins’ second blown save of the last couple weeks. Obviously, it’s nothing to be worried about with respect to his role, but there’s a chance he could be falling back to earth.
The Mariners’ nightmare season continues in the bullpen. Carson Smith has been far from perfect, but Fernando Rodney has been demonstrably worse. No matter how much the Mariners may like the latter, there’s no way he can be put back in the ninth inning.
The Cardinals traded for former Marlins closer Steve Cishek last week. Cishek will be a setup man in St. Louis, but should be valuable in holds leagues, especially with Cardinals Devil Magic being taken into consideration.
Thank you for reading
This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.Subscribe now