Today’s looming trade deadline is beginning to seem like an afterthought after marquee pitchers Dan Haren and Roy Oswalt found new homes in Los Angeles and Philadelphia respectively. For our fantasy purposes, the trading deadline is as important to contending ballclub’s in the big leagues as it is to contending teams in the thick of things in your fantasy baseball league. If a veteran closer on a sub .500 team gets moved to a ballclub with bullpen needs, the move essentially opens the door way for a new closer that probably isn’t owned and is sitting on the wire, waiting for you to come scoop up rouge saves. In this edition of the wire, we’ll speculate on these relief pitchers that could net some save opportunities after the deadline.
Drew Storen (WAS-RP): 19 percent owned
After the Nationals traded closer Matt Capps to the Twins for prospects, Storen falls right in line for saves and his spike in ownership reflects that. After being owned at only a 4 percent rate, the rookie reliever’s ownership jumped to 19 percent after the Capps deal was completed and it will continue to rise as fantasy owners catch wind of the recent deal. You never know what you can get out of a rookie closer but Storen has been dubbed the closer of the future and you can expect a plethora of opportunity for this young man to net saves this year and many more years in Washington. As the 8th inning man for Washington, Storen has sparkled, posting a 2.67 ERA over 30 innings of work while striking out 26 and picking up two wins along the way. The Nats are going to start with a closer by committee to start out with so keep an eye out for Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett.
Evan Meek (PIT-RP): 26 percent owned/Joel Hanrahan (PIT-RP): 6 percent owned
This isn’t an either/or suggestion, I’m telling you to pick up both relievers if your bullpen needs some fixing. With Pittsburg in the cellar once again, veteran closer Octavio Dotel and his $3.5 million dollar contract could be on the move. If and when Dotel is shipped, the Pirates are faced with the dilemma of choosing between Meek or Hanrahan for the 9th inning duties. Luckily for you, picking up both relievers could completely lock down the saves situation in the Steel city and actually supply you with ample K’s and lowered ERA and WHIP numbers if picked up together. Combined, Meek and Hanrahan have allowed 25 earned runs in 101 innings of work with 109 strikeouts.
Their combined stat line looks devilishly seductive:
101 IP, 6W-4L, 2.23 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 109 K
Is it me or does that look like an ace to you? Pick them both up and enjoy the reliever soup. Best served hot.
Brandon League (SEA-RP): 3 percent owned
This is going a little off the deep end with League but that’s the beautiful thing about the trading deadline. The Mariners have already cashed in their Cliff Lee rental and closer David Aardsma’s days of shutting the door in Seattle may be numbered, opening the door for League should the move take place. League has been a wins vulture this year, racking up eight wins while supplying a nifty ERA (3.40) and WHIP (1.19). Picking up League is purely a speculative move at this point and owners picking him up should hope for an Aardsma trade to clear the way for the wins vulture to evolve into a saves vulture.