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Fantasy Baseball Reliever Report: Players To Add Post-Draft For Saves

If you’re looking for sneaky saves in your fantasy baseball league, Cam has you covered.

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 16: Reliever Brusdar Graterol #48 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers a pitch during a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on September 16, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. The Dodgers won 6-2 in 11 innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Last season, over 100 pitchers recorded at least one save. With 30 teams in the league, that means over three pitchers per team, on average, got one. It’s understandable that two pitchers per team would get at least one, which would bring the total to 60 pitchers. Sprinkle in a few injuries, and I’ll allow for 70 or 75 pitchers … but over a hundred is crazy.

This season begins anew, with a clean slate for everyone…except for the Padres and Dodgers, who had their two-game series in Korea. San Diego’s Robert Suarez and Los Angeles’ Evan Phillips each already have a save. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that by the end of the season, another 98 or more pitchers will get at least one save, bringing the total over 100 again.

The trick to saves in fantasy baseball is to find a handful of pitchers who have a decent shot at getting a few saves but won’t cost you too much draft capital. Many of you have already had your drafts or will be soon. The good news is that these eight pitchers could be available to you as free agents.

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Top Players To Add In Fantasy Baseball For Saves

Brusdar Graterol, Los Angeles Dodgers

Graterol is currently nursing some shoulder inflammation which has set him back, but when healthy, he’s been extremely solid for the Dodgers. Last season in 67.1 innings he was 4-2 with seven saves. And his ratios were out of this world. He sported a miniscule 1.20 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. And considering most starters don’t even pitch 150 innings, never mind 200…Graterol’s 67.1 innings with those ratios are enough to move the needle.

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Adam Ottavino, New York Mets

Edwin Diaz is back, but Mets fans would be lying if they said they weren’t concerned. A fluke injury at the WBC last year cost him the entire season. Realistically, he’ll be back healthy, and nothing has pointed to any setbacks, but it’s good to have an insurance policy. Last season Ottavino managed 12 saves with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.

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Brooks Raley, New York Mets

Raley is the other insurance policy for the Mets, from the left side of the rubber. In 66 appearances last season the lefty managed three saves with a nice 2.80 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.

Aroldis Chapman, Pittsburgh Pirates

Chapman split time last season with the Royals and Rangers, ultimately winning a World Series with Texas. I was sure his overall body of work would get him back into ninth-inning responsibilities for some team … I was wrong, Pittsburgh signed him to back up closer David Bednar. Last season, Chapman struck out 103 batters in only 58.1 innings. He was dominant at times. He had a 6-5 record with six saves, and he had a 3.09 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

Yennier Cano, Baltimore Orioles

Cano was nasty last season as the set-up man to Felix Bautista. This season, he’s setting up Craig Kimbrell. Truth be told, he probably should have been entrusted with ninth-inning duties. Although that responsibility falls to Kimbrell, Cano will get a handful of opportunities. He made a whopping 72 appearances last year with eight saves, a 2.11 ERA, and a 1.00 WHIP.

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Chris Martin, Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox are just itching to trade Kenley Jansen away, which would open up the closer’s job to Martin. But for now, Martin is the set-up man (if your league counts holds, Martin is your guy). He’s battling a groin injury, but when he comes back healthy, he’s about as sure a bet as you can have. In 55 appearances last season he was 4-1 with three saves. His ERA was only 1.05 and his WHIP was 1.03.

Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox

Kopech has never really lived up to his potential as a starter. He’s battled injuries for much of his career, and the Sox are trying something new with him. He has the stuff to strike out well over a batter per inning, and moving to the bullpen will allow him to focus on just a couple of pitches and bring it for one inning at a time a couple of times per week. Cutting his innings by at least a half will help his stamina and keep him healthy.

Brock Stewart, Minnesota Twins

With Jhoan Duran injured, ninth-inning duties will fall to either Stweart or Griffin Jax. Out of the two, I prefer Stewart’s stuff. In a limited role last season, Stewart had 28 appearances. In 27.2 innings, he struck out 39 batters. He was 2-0 and got a save. His ERA was 0.65 and his WHIP was 1.08.

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