Relief pitchers are generally some of the most sought-after players at the trade deadline, since acquiring bullpen help can be one of the best and most cost-efficient ways to improve your team via trade. Given the success of the Royals behind a strong bullpen last season, that should be no different in 2015.
As the trade deadline approaches, here is a list of 10 relievers that may be available, ranked by fWAR:
|David Robertson||1.0||White Sox|
|Koji Uehara||0.6||Red Sox|
The big name on the list is Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, but it would obviously take quite the package of players to get him out of Cincinnati. However, several other players on the list could very well move before the July 31 deadline.
Who are the most likely trade candidates?
The two names on the list from the NL East, Philadelphia's Jonathan Papelbon and Atlanta's Jason Grilli, are among the relievers most likely to move. Papelbon has saved 13 of the Phillies' 26 wins this season and has a 1.88 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 28⅔ innings this season, striking out 32 and walking just seven. He also has a long track record as a closer, with 338 saves in 11 big league seasons.
Grilli, meanwhile, is in his second full season as a closer and has 20 saves for the Braves to go with a 2.63 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 27⅓ innings.
Who else may be moved?
Given that they have veterans Rafael Betancourt and LaTroy Hawkins with closing experience in their bullpen, the Rockies may look to move current closer John Axford. Axford has 13 saves for Colorado this season, with a 2.42 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in his 24 appearances.
If they decide to become sellers, the A's would likely look to move Tyler Clippard, who has had success both as a setup man and closer in his career.