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Saves and Steals: David Bednar nearing return

Is Goldy worth trading for in fantasy baseball?
Neither Eric Samulski nor Scott Pianowski sees a need to jump at some of the players toward the top of the RBI projection list, but the former makes a case for why Paul Goldschmidt could be worth a flier via trade.

The 2024 All-Star game will feature relievers Emmanuel Clase, Clay Holmes, Mason Miller, and Kirby Yates in the American League. Representing the National League, we’ll have Ryan Helsley, Jeff Hoffman, Tanner Scott, Matt Strahm, and Robert Suarez. Elsewhere in this week’s Saves and Steals, David Bednar and Yimi Garcia appear close to returning from the injured list. And in the steals department, Zach Neto and Max Schuemann have had big weeks in the AL West.

Listen to the Rotoworld Baseball Show for the latest player news, waiver claims, roster advice and more from our experts all season long. Click here or download it wherever you get your podcasts.

Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings

Tier 1: At the Top

Emmanuel Clase - Cleveland Guardians
Ryan Helsley - St. Louis Cardinals
Craig Kimbrel - Baltimore Orioles

Clase remained busy this week with three more saves, giving him 28 on the year while maintaining an outstanding 0.83 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, and 39 strikeouts across 43 1/3 innings. Hunter Gaddis, Scott Barlow, and Cade Smith have been excellent contributors behind Clase, giving the Guardians’ bullpen the best ERA in baseball.

Helsley had a rare mishap this week, blowing a save against the Nationals but going two innings to earn the win. He remains at the top of the saves leaderboard with 31.

Kimbrel swaps spots with Miller in the rankings. He added two more saves for a total of 23 with a 2.10 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 52 strikeouts across 34 1/3 innings.

Tier 2: The Elite

Mason Miller - Oakland Athletics
Robert Suarez - San Diego Padres
Josh Hader - Houston Astros

Miller struck out two batters for his 15th save on Wednesday against the Red Sox. It was just his third save in the last month. Meanwhile, Suarez converted his 22nd save last Thursday before blowing an opportunity against the Diamondbacks on Friday. Despite giving up three runs in the outing, he maintains a 1.77 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and 33 strikeouts across 35 2/3 innings. In Houston, Hader converted three saves and took the loss in a fourth outing. Home runs have been a problem for him, with four solo homers allowed in his last seven appearances.

Tier 3: The Solid Options

Andrés Muñoz - Seattle Mariners
Kirby Yates - Texas Rangers
Raisel Iglesias - Atlanta Braves
Kenley Jansen - Boston Red Sox
Jhoan Duran - Minnesota Twins
Evan Phillips - Los Angeles Dodgers
Clay Holmes - New York Yankees
Paul Sewald - Arizona Diamondbacks
Kyle Finnegan - Washington Nationals
Trevor Megill - Milwaukee Brewers
Pete Fairbanks - Tampa Bay Rays

Muñoz recorded his 15th save on Wednesday against the Padres. He’s posted an excellent 1.45 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 45 strikeouts across 37 1/3 innings. Gregory Santos was activated from the injured list. He tossed a scoreless inning in his season debut and should operate in a setup role. Yates is also up to 14 saves after a big week, converting three in five days. He’s down to a 0.84 ERA with 45 strikeouts over 32 1/3 innings.

Iglesias didn’t record a save this week but did pick up a win with two innings pitched against the Diamondbacks on Sunday. Jansen moves up the list with another two saves this week. The 36-year-old veteran right-hander is up to 18 saves with a 2.01 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 35 strikeouts across 31 1/3 innings. And Duran tossed three scoreless innings this week, picking up two wins and converting his 14th save against the White Sox on Wednesday.

Phillips converted his 14th save on Friday against the Brewers, then blew a save chance the following day. He’s given up a run in three of his last four outings. Holmes also didn’t have the best week, giving up two runs in a blown save Friday against the Red Sox before converting his first save in a month on Wednesday against the Rays. Similarly, Sewald is going through a rough stretch, with seven runs allowed over his last four outings. He was charged with a pair of blown saves this week. Manager Torey Lovullo expressed confidence in Sewald and went back to him on Wednesday to close out the game with a two-run lead over the Braves for his 12th save.

Finnegan surrendered a solo homer to blow a save chance against the Cardinals on Friday in his only appearance this week. Megill also appeared in just one game, striking out the side in a scoreless inning in a non-save situation. Devin Williams reportedly felt good after a recent bullpen session. The team is targeting the July 30 trade deadline for a potential return. And Fairbanks rounds out this tier with two saves this week, giving him 15 with a 3.13 ERA over 31 2/3 innings.

Tier 4: There’s Upside Here

Edwin Diaz - New York Mets
Camilo Doval - San Francisco Giants
Jose Alvarado/Jeff Hoffman - Philadelphia Phillies
Tanner Scott - Miami Marlins
Carlos Estévez - Los Angeles Angels
Alexis Díaz - Cincinnati Reds
Aroldis Chapman - Pittsburgh Pirates
Chad Green - Toronto Blue Jays
James McArthur - Kansas City Royals
Jason Foley - Detroit Tigers

Díaz returned from his 10-game suspension on Saturday, converting two saves and picking up a win over four days. The Mets acquired Phil Maton from the Rays for additional bullpen depth. Doval also looks to be getting back on track. He converted a pair of saves this week and has allowed one run over his last eight appearances. In Philadelphia, Hoffman is closing in on Alvarado’s save total of 13, picking up his ninth against the Dodgers on Wednesday.

Scott converted his 13th save against the White Sox on Saturday with his fourth consecutive perfect outing. He’ll likely be dealt at the trade deadline. A.J. Puk and Anthony Bender would be the names to watch as potential replacements at closer for the Marlins.

Estévez didn’t see a save chance but did toss a scoreless inning in his only appearance to give him a 2.89 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, and 28 strikeouts over 28 innings while converting 16 saves.

Díaz allowed three unearned runs in an outing against the Tigers on Sunday in a non-save situation. Meanwhile, Chapman blew the save and took a loss against the Mets. David Bednar tossed a scoreless inning with one strikeout in his first rehab appearance in Double-A on Tuesday. He appears to be close to a return from an oblique injury.

In Toronto, Yimi García could be activated from the injured list soon. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo earlier this week. In the meantime, Green converted his fourth save and picked up a win.

McArthur gave up a run against the Cardinals on Wednesday but held on for the save, then converted his 17th save in the second game of a doubleheader. In Detroit, Foley, Andrew Chafin, and Shelby Miller all converted a save. Foley is up to 15 with a 3.41 ERA over 31 2/3 innings but seems to have a shaky hold on the closer role.

Tier 5: Just Getting By

Hector Neris - Chicago Cubs
Michael Kopech - Chicago White Sox
Jalen Beeks/Victor Vodnik - Colorado Rockies

Neris tossed a scoreless inning against the Phillies on Thursday, then recorded the final out against the Angels for his 12th save on Friday. And Kopech had a busy week, making four appearances in six days while converting two of three save chances. In Colorado, Beeks converted three saves while Vodnik recorded one save and a win.


Devin Williams - Back
Jordan Romano - Elbow
David Bednar - Oblique

Steals Department

Shohei Ohtani and Elly De La Cruz led the way in steals this week. Ohtani swiped six bags to give him 22 on the season to go with 28 homers. De La Cruz followed with five steals for a league-leading 45 to go with 15 home runs. Lane Thomas and Jazz Chisholm Jr. were next on this week’s leaderboard with four steals each. Chisholm Jr. is up to 18 on the season and is set to surpass his career high of 23 with a healthy season. More widely available in fantasy leagues, Zach Neto stole three bases. He’s quietly on pace for a 20/20 season, with 12 homers and 14 steals while hitting .250/.297/.432 across 331 plate appearances. Max Schuemann might be worth a look in deep leagues. The 27-year-old shortstop has been hitting well for the A’s over the last week and has been aggressive on the bases with four steals in July and nine on the season.