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Bell, League, Lidge, Nunez, & Putz: Closer Updates

The trade deadline is less than five days away plus some closers are getting healthy, so let’s recap some of the recent/potential movement and how it may impact the fantasy landscape…

Heath Bell | Padres

It’s seemed inevitable that San Diego would trade their free agent-to-be closer before the deadline and nothing’s really changed. I expect him to move before Sunday, though your guess is as good as mine when it comes to his ultimate destination. I could see him ending up with the Cardinals, the Phillies, or the Rangers, and we should never count out the Yankees and Red Sox. Bell’s fantasy value may change drastically depending on where he ends up, and managers that wanted to play it safe have probably already traded him. If/when he does move, Mike Adams figures to step right into the ninth inning for the Padres. He’s on the block too, but they’re asking for quite a bit in return.

Brandon League | Mariners

The Mariners’ free fall has just about their entire roster on the trade block, but team president Chuck Armstrong said trading League is “not likely.” GM Jack Zduriencik echoed that sentiment. Dave Cameron explained why Seattle should move him at USSM yesterday, but of course he’s not running the show there. Or at least I hope he’s not, for his sake. If things change and League does get traded within the next few days, the mostly likely bet to replace him as Seattle’s ninth inning guy is David Pauley.

Brad Lidge | Phillies

Eno Sarris looked at Lidge’s velocity yesterday, and right now he’s unlikely to assume his old closer’s job with Ryan Madson healthy and hyper-effective. There’s no need to run out and grab him, at least not yet. Lidge is a perfect example of a guy that a) needs to show he can actually pitch well, and b) there needs to be some kind of indication that he’s close to going back to the ninth inning before you consider using a roster spot on him.

Leo Nunez | Marlins

Ken Rosenthal reported that the Marlins are unlikely to deal Nunez despite his relatively high salary ($3.65M and going up through arbitration next year) because they’re opening their new park next season and want to be respectable on Opening Day. Florida would probably be able to get a decent haul for Nunez, and Jack McKeon indicated that Edward Mujica would assume ninth inning duties if their current closer is dealt.

J.J. Putz | Diamondbacks

David Hernandez did a fine, fine job while Putz was on the disabled list, but the former Mariners’ stopper is back on the active roster and will work the ninth inning again. Putz isn’t exactly a beacon of good health, so Hernandez could end up seeing more save chances later in the year. For now, it’s Putz’s job once again.