Fantasy Baseball Closers and Saves: Week 17 (2022)


Now that we’ve had a few days to let the dust settle: WOW! That was a wild trade deadline, folks. We had what many people are saying was the biggest trade in sports history. We had a first-place team seemingly sell one of their best assets. We had another first-place team trade from a position of weakness. We had, allegedly, several trades fall apart at the last minute. We had, definitely, at least one trade that came together at the last minute.

There’s a lot to talk about throughout baseball, and like always, the trade deadline hit the bullpens hard. This week, we’ll take a quick look at all the bullpens affected by the trade deadline and see how things might go down for the last two months of the season.

Be sure to also keep an eye on us RotoBall Fantasy Baseball Closers and Saves Bullpen Depth Charts. They’re updated daily, or sometimes even more often in this wild 2022 baseball season.

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New York Mets – Bullpen and Closers News

The Mets didn’t make their fans too happy this trade deadline, but they did pick up Mychal Givens from the Cubs to fortify their bullpen. They also activated Trevor May from the IL, so that’s two reinforcements in their relief corps. Edwin Diaz isn’t going anywhere and remains the Mets closer, with Adam Ottavino and Seth Lugo still both good bets for teams.

Risers: reach
Fallers: Mychal Givens (likely moves down a rung in the hierarchy)

New York Yankees – Bullpen and Closers News

The Yankees reportedly almost got a deal done for Marlins starter Pablo Lopez, but instead, they ended up trading Jordan Montgomery to the Cardinals and are left with a four-man rotation. It was a weird deadline. Bullpen-wise though, the Yankees picked up Lou Trivino from the A’s and Scott Effross from the Cubs. Despite looking very human recently, Clay Holmes should hang onto his closer role, with Wandy Peralta setting him up. Effross and Trivino could both see significant high leverage innings, with Effross the slightly better bet to make an immediate impact.

Risers: Scott Effross (in teams leagues)
Fallers: Lou Trivino (can still have value in teams leagues)

Detroit Tigers – Bullpen and Closers News

The Tigers were expected to make more moves than they did, especially with some of their bullpen pieces. Their only reliever to go ended up being Michael Fulmer, who was traded to the Twins. Andrew Chafin, Joe Jimenez, and Gregory Soto all remain in their Tigers uniforms. Chafin and Jimenez will work setup roles ahead of Soto, who will continue to close.

Risers: Andrew Chafin, Joe Jimenez (less competition for teams)
Fallers: reach

Miami Marlins – Bullpen and Closers News

The Marlins did a bit less at the deadline than expected as well, completing just one trade. They sent relievers Anthony Bass and Zach Pop to the Blue Jays in exchange for a prospect. Anthony Bender returned from the injured list and should slide right into the setup role vacated by Bass.

Risers: Anthony Bender
Fallers: reach

Los Angeles Angels – Bullpen and Closers News

There seems to always be a fairly big trade that gets announced after the deadline and reminds everyone that the deadline is for completing trades, not announcing them. That was the Angels and Braves this season, trading closer Raisel Iglesias. The Angels are left with a committee in the 9th inning, with Ryan Tepera, Aaron Loup, and Jose Quijada all figuring to see some save chances down the stretch.

Risers: Jose Quijada, Ryan Tepera, Aaron Loup
Fallers: reach

Toronto Blue Jays – Bullpen and Closers News

The Blue Jays made a deal with the Marlins to pick up two righty relievers in Anthony Bass and Zach Pop. Bass had been pitching as the primary setup man in Miami, while Pop was more of a middle reliever. Both are solid arms, but Bass takes a fantasy hit here as he’ll have more competition for teams from two other former Marlins, Adam Cimber and Yimi Garcia.

Risers: reach
Fallers: Anthony Bass

Atlanta Braves – Bullpen and Closers News

The Braves bullpen was already pretty good, but they went ahead and added Raisel Iglesias (and his big contract) to their team. Iglesias will be the team’s “secondary closer” according to manager Brian Snitker, who insisted that Kenley Jansen would remain the “primary closer.” While we’re not sure what that means exactly, it certainly isn’t good news for Jansen’s fantasy value. Iglesias takes a hit here as he moves out of a certain 9th inning role, and AJ Minter moves down a rung as well, even though the Braves did get William Smith out of the mix by trading him in a separate deal.

Risers: reach
Fallers: Raisel Iglesias, Kenley Jansen?

Chicago Cubs – Bullpen and Closers News

The Cubs…forgot to trade some of their players who were expected to be some of the biggest movers of the deadline. (We know, they didn’t actually forgot, but still…) They did move three of their top relievers though, sending Scott Effross to the Yankees, Mychal Givens to the Mets, and David Robertson to the Phillies. That means the high leverage innings for the Cubs, however many of those there end up being, will look very different. Rowan Wick presumably takes the closer’s role, with Brandon Hughes and Erich Uelmen likely setting it up.

Risers: Rowan Wick, Brandon Hughes
Fallers: reach

Philadelphia Phillies – Bullpen and Closers News

The Phillies were doing fine with their committee led by Seranthony Dominguez and featuring Brad Hand, but they went out and made sure they had a solidified closer for the stretch run, picking up David Robertson from the Cubs. Robertson immediately slides into the 9th inning, pushing Dominguez and Hand back into setup roles, along with former closer Corey Knebel. There’s been some coachspeak about the Phillies going with a committee including Robertson, but we’ll believe that when we see it.

Risers: David Robertson
Fallers: Seranthony Dominguez, Brad Hand

Minnesota Twins – Bullpen and Closers News

The Twins did a few big things to help out their bullpen at the trade deadline, picking up Jorge Lopez from the Orioles and Michael Fulmer from the Tigers. They still have Jhoan Duran and Emilio Pagan around as well. Lopez figures to get the bulk of the save chances going forward, so he should maintain his fantasy value, while Fulmer sees an uptick thanks to being on a team more likely to have leads to hold. Duran takes a slight hit in saves-only leagues, but his value remains the same in team formats.

Risers: Michael Fulmer
Fallers: reach

Baltimore Orioles – Bullpen and Closers News

The Orioles are very much in contention if you look at the standings, but were very much sellers at the deadline anyway, trading away their closer and one of their best hitters. Jorge Lopez was traded to the Twins, leaving Felix Bautista as the likely favorite for 9th inning work. Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said that Bautista, Dillon Tate, and Cionel Perez are all options for saves “depending on matchups” but Bautista is the one to roster in most fantasy formats.

Risers: Felix Bautista, Dillon Tate, Cionel Perez
Fallers: reach

San Diego Padres – Bullpen and Closers News

The Padres…folks, the Padres did just about everything at the trade deadline. They acquired Juan Soto and Josh Bell in one of the biggest trades in sports history, but they started things off by making a trade that absolutely no one saw coming: they picked up Josh Hader from the Brewers. Hader is widely considered one of the best closers in baseball, and he’ll obviously keep his 9th inning job so there’s not much of a change in fantasy value there. Luis Garcia and Nick Martinez, who had slight fantasy bumps when it was believed they might get save chances, are back to setup roles.

Risers: AJ Preller
Fallers: reach

Milwaukee Brewers – Bullpen and Closers News

The Brewers, who are in first place in their division, traded their closer at the trade deadline. That’s not something you see too often. Josh Hader was traded to the Padres in a deal that included Taylor Rogers going back to Milwaukee. Devin Williams will move into the closer’s role for the Brewers, with Brad Boxberger and Rogers setting him up. It’s a hit to Rogers, but he was out of a job in San Diego anyway, so maybe the change of scenery does him good.

Risers: Devin Williams
Fallers: Taylor Rogers

Oakland A’s – Bullpen and Closers News

The A’s found a trade partner for Lou Trivino and sent him to the Yankees. They got Dany Jimenez back from the injured list, though. He and Zach Jackson, along with AJ Puk, figure to see most of the high leverage innings for the A’s for the rest of the season. It could be a full-on committee, but if Jimenez pitches well, there’s a chance he gets the job back and holds onto it.

Risers: Dany Jimenez, Zach Jackson
Fallers: reach

Pittsburgh Pirates – Bullpen and Closers News

The Pirates ended up keeping all of their relievers past the trade deadline, but closer David Bednar had to be placed on the injured list due to a back injury. It’s not the first time he’s dealt with a back issue this season, although it’s unclear for now how much time he’ll miss. Wil Crowe seems like the most likely candidate to take over the 9th inning until Bednar returns, although he could be in a committee with Yerry De Los Santos and Duane Underwood.

Risers: Wil Crowe, Yerry De Los Santos
Fallers: David Bednar

Short Relief – Other Bullpen News

– The Rockies signed 37-year-old closer Daniel Bard to a two-year extension, for some reason. They were the only team in baseball not to make a trade.

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