The Brewers acquired Francisco Rodriguez via trade from the New York Mets while you were undoubtedly riveted and on the edge of your seat watching the All-Star Game. The deal involves the Mets sending K-Rod and $5 million bucks to Milwaukee for two minor league players to be named later. The Brewers will likely still rely on John Axford to be their closer.

As has been mentioned throughout the season, there is a clause in Rodriguez’s contract that if he finishes 55 games or more, he is given a $17.5 million option for 2012. If he does not play in 55 games, the Brewers can buyout the option for $3.5 million. K-Rod also had a limited no-trade clause in his contract, but the Brewers were not on that list.

Mets may use closer committee

Between Jason Isringhausen and Bobby Parnell, the New York Mets don’t have a clear-cut option at closer. Pedro Beato has also pitched well this season and could end up the closer in the future. This situation likely won’t be fleshed out until the second half is underway but Parnell is the safer option. Most news sources are speculating he will take over.

As an interesting side note, Isringhausen has 293 career saves, placing him 23rd all-time and fourth among active players.

Putz’ speculative return date set

J.J. Putz threw a simulated bullpen session but is not likely to be ready for the Diamondbacks first series against the Dodgers. Expect him to return to the team on July 18.

Arizona manager Kirk Gibson has confirmed that Putz will be the D-backs closer upon his return. Interim closer, David Hernandez, has converted all five of his save opportunities. Gibson acknowledged that Hernandez has pitched well but added that if Putz needs a day off, Hernandez is a great backup option.

Lidge happy to pitch in any role

Philadelphia Phillies oft-injured closer Brad Lidge has expressed an acceptance to play any role in the bullpen upon his return. He stated “I want to close again [but] … Whatever is the best scenario for our team, I’ll be comfortable doing this year. We’ll see how it plays out.”

Lidge pitched an inning in Double-A on Monday and will pitch again later this week. In his absence, Ryan Madson had been performing very well but now that he too is on the disabled list, Antonio Bastardo is the team’s interim closer. Madson is set to return by Monday, July 18 with Lidge expected to return the following week.


Cordero shaky heading into ASG break

In his last four appearances, Francisco Cordero has allowed four walks, eight hits, and seven earned runs. Three of those appearances were blown saves. His ERA has gone from 1.49 on July 3 up to 2.95.

Cordero may be feeling pressure from reliever Aroldis Chapman. Since returning to the team in late June, he’s been solid. On July 6, he earned a save after Cordero blew the save chance against the Cardinals. Chapman had command issues in the past, illustrated by three May appearances where he handed out nine free passes, and only accounted for one out. It was so bad that he had back-to-back games with 0.0 IP.


If Cordero continues to struggle, Cincinnati may give Chapman more opportunities in the ninth inning.


Kevin Gregg may face a suspension following his fracas with David Ortiz. If that’s the case, look for Koji Uehara to be the short-term closer in Baltimore.

– The Twins will attempt to trade Matt Capps sooner rather than later. It may be best to deal him now since any team that acquires Capps will be a playoff contender with an established closer.

– Just like the aforementioned Capps, Joakim Soria will be trade bait as the Royals continue to prep Aaron Crow for the his eventual closer takeover.

– Yes, more trade bait. The Padres are expected to trade Heath Bell. Potential suitors include the Angels (need a real closer), Phillies (need depth), and Rangers (need someone new). After the move, Mike Adams is next in line and should be an automatic add across all league formats.

Closer Chart below is colour-coded based upon stability of job.

Green = safe
Purple = shaky
Red = caution
Blue = committee
Orange = save poacher



Projected Next Up

Also in the Mix

Arizona Diamondbacks

David Hernandez

Aaron Heilman
Sam Demel

J.J. Putz

Atlanta Braves

Craig Kimbrel

Jonny Venters

Eric O’Flaherty
George Sherrill

Baltimore Orioles

Kevin Gregg

Koji Uehara

Alfredo Simon
Mike Gonzalez

Boston Red Sox

Jonathan Papelbon

Bobby Jenks
Daniel Bard

Matt Albers

Chicago Cubs

Carlos Marmol

Sean Marshall

Kerry Wood
Jeff Samardzija

Chicago White Sox

Sergio Santos

Matt Thornton

Chris Sale
Jesse Crain

Cincinnati Reds

Francisco Cordero

Aroldis Chapman

Logan Ondrusek
Nick Masset

Cleveland Indians

Chris Perez

Vinnie Pestano
Tony Sipp

Rafael Perez

Colorado Rockies

Huston Street

Matt Lindstrom

Matt Belisle
Rafael Betancourt

Detroit Tigers

Jose Valverde

Joaquin Benoit
Ryan Perry

Al Alburquerque (DL)

Florida Marlins

Leo Nunez

Mike Dunn
Steve Cishek

Clay Hensley (DL)

Houston Astros

Mark Melancon

Wilton Lopez

Fernando Rodriguez
Sergio Escalona

Kansas City Royals

Joakim Soria

Aaron Crow

Louis Coleman
Tim Collins

Los Angeles Angels

Jordan Walden

Scott Downs

Hisanori Takahashi
Rich Thompson

Los Angeles Dodgers

Javy Guerra

Hong-Chih Kuo
Kenley Jansen

Jonathan Broxton (DL)

Milwaukee Brewers

John Axford

Francisco Rodriguez

Takashi Saito
LaTroy Hawkins

Minnesota Twins

Matt Capps
Joe Nathan

Glen Perkins

Jose Mijares
Alex Burnett

New York Mets

Jason Isringhausen
Bobby Parnell

Pedro Beato

Tim Byrdak
Manny Acosta

New York Yankees

Mariano Rivera

David Robertson
Luis Ayala

Rafael Soriano (DL)

Oakland Athletics

Andrew Bailey

Brian Fuentes
Grant Balfour

Joey Devine
Michael Wuertz

Philadelphia Phillies

Antonio Bastardo

Michael Stutes
David Herndon

Ryan Madson (DL)
Brad Lidge (DL)

Pittsburgh Pirates

Joel Hanrahan

Jose Veras

Chris Resop
Daniel Moskos

St. Louis Cardinals

Fernando Salas

Jason Motte
Mitchell Boggs

Eduardo Sanchez (DL)

San Diego Padres

Heath Bell

Mike Adams
Luke Gregorson

Ernesto Frieri

San Francisco Giants

Brian Wilson

Sergio Romo

Javier Lopez
Jeremy Affeldt

Seattle Mariners

Brandon League

Jamey Wright
David Pauley

David Aardsma (DL)

Tampa Bay Rays

Kyle Farnsworth

Joel Peralta
J.P. Howell

Juan Cruz

Texas Rangers

Neftali Feliz

Darren Oliver

Cody Eppley
Arthur Rhodes

Toronto Blue Jays

Jon Rauch

Octavio Dotel

Frank Francisco
Jason Frasor

Washington Nationals

Drew Storen

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