Welcome to Pickup of the Day, where every weekday we'll pick an under-the-radar player whose immediate value is on the rise. The idea here is to identify a starter who can give you some solid innings off the scrap heap, a talented backup who's been given a chance because of a starter's injury, an unheralded regular with a favorable matchup, or a potential breakout player who's starting to put it together. Unlike regular waiver-wire advice, Pickup of the Day is geared more towards interim success, but hopefully we'll have the intuition to help you snag a waiver-wire gem a few times this season.
The rebuilding Braves made a surprise blockbuster trade Sunday evening -- just an hour or two before the season's first pitch -- that sent closer Craig Kimbrel (along with outfielder Melvin Upton Jr.) to the suddenly-aggressive Padres. Kimbrel is going to take over at closer for San Diego, relegating Joaquin Benoit to a setup role. In Atlanta, the vacant ninth-inning gig seems likely to go to former Pirates closer Jason Grilli. Braves president John Hart also mentioned Jim Johnson as an option for save opportunities, but Johnson was a complete disaster last year in that role with the A's and those struggles followed him to middle relief. Grilli, 38, didn't have a great 2014 either, but he did look sharper down the stretch following a midseason trade from Pittsburgh to the Angels. We've barely begun and there are already saves to be had on the waiver wire.