MLB Setup Men to Stash in Fantasy Baseball Prior to July 31 Trade Deadline

Mike Esposito
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants /

Elite closers are a hot commodity around the MLB Trade Deadline and, for the right price, teams that are out of contention are typically willing to trade their prized relievers away for controllable assets. While some of these transactions can significantly diminish a closer's fantasy value, they can open the door for their setup men.

Whether you're in need of a handcuff or a midseason source of saves, here are four setup men worth stashing on your fantasy baseball roster prior to the July 31 MLB Trade Deadline.

1. Daniel Hudson, Toronto Blue Jays

Ken Giles is in the middle of one of the best seasons of his career (1.45 ERA, 13 saves) and with his stock at an all-time high, the rebuilding Blue Jays are likely to trade him by July 31. If Giles does get shipped out of Toronto (or if he misses time due to the nerve inflammation he's experiencing in his pitching elbow), Daniel Hudson would be next in line to assume the Jays' closer role for the rest of the year. The 32-year-old righty has done a great job as Giles' setup man, tallying a 5-2 record, a 2.85 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 41 innings pitched.

2. Joe Jimenez, Detroit Tigers

Shane Greene has been borderline unhittable (1.06 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 22 saves) this year, so it's likely only a matter of time before the Tigers ship him off to playoff-bound club. If and when Greene is traded, Joe Jimenez could step into the closer's role in Detroit. The 24-year-old righty's 4.67 ERA isn't very impressive, but his ability to miss bats is. Jimenez has 51 Ks in 34 2/4 innings pitched and and has also been pitching well as of late, giving up just one run in his last six appearances.

3. Mark Melancon, San Francisco Giants

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Will Smith has flourished (2.17 ERA, 23 saves) since winning the Giants' closer role over Mark Melancon at the start of the season, but it's only a matter of time before the latter assumes ninth-inning duties. Melancon's 4.15 ERA this season leaves much to be desired, but he has a wealth of closing experience (182 career saves) and should get the first crack at the closer job if Smith is traded to a contender.

4. Craig Stammen, San Diego Padres

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Kirby Yates has arguably been the best closer in baseball this season (1.10 ERA, MLB-best 30 saves) and it's quite possible that the Padres ship him off to a contender before July 31. If San Diego ends up trading its All-Star closer, Craig Stammen will likely assume closer duties in San Diego. Stammen has been solid in a late-relief role for the Padres this season, sporting a 3.86 ERA with four saves on the year.

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Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.