And we’re back. Hopefully the short week didn’t treat you too badly. Good to see the NL finally win an All-Star game, couldn’t believe it has been 14 years since their last win.

But now we get move to one of the most fun parts of the baseball season: the trade deadline.

The waiver wire suddenly gets a big boost in activity as people jump on players who suddenly have value due to the transactions of playoff hopefuls and surrender monkeys.

The position of most impact is relief pitching, as two or three closers always get traded to a contender looking for bullpen help, paving the way for a young up-and-comer to take over ninth-inning duties.

This is a huge opportunity for you save chasers (myself included) to load your bullpens with saves.

We’ll start with four guys who could end up closers before the trade deadline ends then hit some other numbers.


1.50 – ERA for Indians’ set up man Chris Perez since June. We’re starting with him because you need to stop reading and go grab him now if he’s for some reason still available. I’ll explain when you get back.

Ready? Okay, current closer Kerry Wood (he of the 6.30 ERA) recently went to the DL with a blister on his right thumb, making Perez the closer.

Wood has already been on the trading block for quite some time now, and while this injury doesn’t exactly make him more attractive to potential buyers, he will be back from the DL before the deadline and will most likely be moved.

Thus, it can be speculated that Perez’s reign as closer will continue unabated the rest of the season. I dropped Chad Qualls for him without blinking, but that might not be saying much.


6 – Number of earned runs allowed for Evan Meek over 43 appearances this season.

I know I drooled all over him last week, but since we’re talking about set-up men with impending save opportunities, I’m reminding you again to grab him. He’s been fantastic all season and is probably the best guy in this foursome.

Unfortunately, he also plays for Pirates, so keep in mind save opportunities won’t come as frequently.


3.64 – ERA for Brandon League , the man next in line to receive saves in Sea-Town.

The Mariners are sellers once again, and David Aardsma’s name has been thrown around in more than a few scenarios.

There’s no one else in the Seattle pen worthy of taking over the closer’s role, and while the ERA may not look spectacular, but minus a few bad days (four worst outings: 2.2 innings, 13 runs allowed.

Rest of season: 44.1 innings, six runs allowed) League really has been great this season. Pounce as soon as Aardsma gets moved.


21 – Strikeouts for Drew Storen over his first 25 appearances.

This is the biggest long shot of the group, as current closer Matt Capps is still under contract until 2011 and with Tyler Clippard struggling lately the Nats may not want to throw their rookie phenom into fire right away.

But Washington is a seller and Storen’s peripherals along with his future role as dynasty closer means there is at least a slight chance we could see him take over his throne sooner rather than later.


Click and you shall receive more numbers.

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