Here’s the thing about punting saves in fantasy baseball: It’s unnecessary and generally unhelpful.
If you do it, you’re narrowing your path to a league title without giving yourself any sort of substantial edge in your draft. Saves can still be found in the middle and late rounds, and they consistently materialize on the wire. It’s simply not a category you need to give away.
It’s true, of course, that various trends in bullpen usage across baseball have altered the saves chase a bit. Many of you now find great comfort in the luxury closers routinely selected in the opening minutes of fantasy drafts. Our purpose here isn’t to tell you when and how to acquire your saves, but simply to encourage you not to ignore the category entirely.
Again: We can find saves almost anywhere. They won’t all be of the same quality, granted. But they’re out there, waiting to be collected.
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Below, you’re getting our best guess regarding every MLB team’s current closing situation, plus each bullpen’s presumptive next-man-up (showcased by RPs in parenthesis). If you’re looking for reliever ranks or salary cap values, you’re in the wrong place. Today we’re just giving you a quick snapshot of every squad’s closing landscape.
Arizona Diamondbacks: mark melancon (Ian Kennedy)
Atlanta Braves: kenley jansen (Will Smith)
Chicago Cubs: Michael Givens (Rowan Wick — We’re just guessing here, as the team has also signed Chris Martin and David Robertson.)
Cincinnati Reds: Lucas Simsalthough he’s behind and may not be ready for opening day. (art warren)
Colorado Rockies: Alex Colome (daniel bard)
Los Angeles Dodgers: Blake Trenen (daniel hudson)
Miami Marlins: Dylan Floro (Anthony Bender)
Milwaukee Brewers: Josh Hader (David Williams)
New York Mets: Edwin Diaz (Adam Ottavino and/or Trevor May)
Philadelphia Phillies: Corey Knebel (JeurysFamily)
Pittsburgh Pirates: David Bednar (Chris Straton)
San Diego Padres: Pierce-Johnson is the placeholder here, but this team’s bullpen is loaded with options. (Dinelson Lamet is one of those options, as is Emilio Pagan. Robert Suarez is another. Drew Pomeranze isn’t all that close to making an appearance, it seems. Allow yourself one flier from this group.)
San Francisco Giants: Camilo Doval (jake mcgee and Tyler Rogers are also lurking in an unsettled bullpen.)
St.Louis Cardinals: Giovanny Gallegos (Ryan Helsley)
Washington Nationals: Kyle Finnegan (Tanner Rainey)
Baltimore Orioles: Cole Sulser (Tanner Scott. The O’s are developing Tyler Wells as a multi-inning pitcher, perhaps a starter.)
Boston Red Sox: Matt Barnes (Ryan Bra)
Chicago White Sox: Liam Hendricks (Craig Kimbrel)
Cleveland Guardians: Emmanuel Class (James Karinchak)
Detroit Tigers: Gregory Soto (Michael Fulmer)
Houston Astros: Ryan Pressley (Hector Neris)
Kansas City Royals: scott barlow (Josh Staumont)
Los Angeles Angels: Raisel Iglesias (Ryan Tepera)
Minnesota Twins: taylor rogers (Tyler Duffy)
New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman (Jonathan Loaisiga)
Oakland Athletics: Lou Trivino (Sunday Acevedo)
Seattle Mariners: Ken Giles just made his spring debut, which is promising. This team has no shortage of excellent late-inning options and, as of this writing, little ninth-inning clarity. (diego castle, Drew Steckenrider and Paul Sewald belong in the saves conversation as well.)
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Tampa Bay Rays: Andrew Kittredge (Peter Fairbanks. Let’s just please remember that any Rays reliever is as likely to pitch the first inning as the ninth.)
Texas Rangers: Joe Barlow (Spencer Patton)
Toronto Blue Jays: jordan roman (Yimi Garcia)