OpinionJuly 30, 2010

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Closers Complex: Deadline Reactions

By Matthew Robertson

As I sit here writing this, Matt Capps has just been dealt from the Washington Nationals to the Minnesota Twins. What does this mean? Well, it has been reported that Capps will immediately take over as Twins closer, which can’t make Jon Rauch owners happy since Rauch is slated to move to setup duty. This move likely strengthens the Twins bullpen but some fantasy owners just lost a pretty decent closer. Meanwhile Capps owners are breathing a sigh of relief that his saves chances will continue, though the AL might prove a little more difficult.

The Capps trade means that the 9th inning helm in Washington is now available. Some people are taking a flyer on Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett getting the call but the smart money is on 2009 1st round pick Drew Storen, whose quick ascension and success in majors is evidence about the type of relief talent he truly is. Even if Clippard or Burnett initially get the role, it is only a matter of time until Storen claims the role. This is one of those situations where Storen could be the Nationals closer for the foreseeable future, which makes Storen a must add in all leagues and a candidate for all dynasty and keeper leagues going forward.

We still have two days until the trade deadline and there is still a possibly that a few additional closers will be dealt to a contender. I’m not saying Jonathan Papelbon or Joakim Soria will be traded but someone like Octavio Dotel , Kevin Gregg, Kerry Wood, or Matt Lindstrom could all find themselves in new destinations come Sunday. If Dotel is dealt, look for Evan Meek, Joel Hanrahan, or the recently acquired Sean Gallagher to get a shot with Meek having he initial edge. If Gregg is moved, the replacement might be even more of a crapshoot. There is speculation that fellow Blue Jays relievers Scott Downs and Jason Frasor could also be dealt. If all three get dealt, Casey Janssen would most likely become the Toronto closer. If Kerry Wood is traded, Chris Perez will logically become the Indians closer if he doesn’t get handed the job anyways. While Matt Lindstrom hasn’t been talked about much as a trade candidate, he could prove to be a valuable cog on a contender. If it happens, Brandon Lyon will get the 9th inning nod.

Will anything happen? I’m not sure but the deadline has already given us some interesting deals. So, be prepared in case one of these closers get dealt.

Matthew Robertson is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Matthew in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Havok1517.
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