Fantasy Baseball Trade Reaction: Braves get their closer in Shane Greene
The Braves acquire Shane Greene in a bid to fix their long troublesome closer role. Here's how the deal will impact Fantasy players.
The ninth inning has been an issue for the Braves all season long. First, Arodys Vizcaino couldn't get healthy, ultimately undergoing elbow surgery; then A.J. Minter couldn't find the strike zone; and Luke Jackson just hasn't been consistent enough to trust for a contender. So, they went out and got a closer, Shane Greene, who has had no such problems thus far. Does the move lock down the ninth inning for the Braves and make Greene a Fantasy star?
If he keeps getting results he has been, it sure does. Greene sports a 1.18 ERA in 38 innings, and has 22 saves in 25 opportunities. And, he's been consistent all season, allowing no more than two runs in any month, with 43 strikeouts to 12 walks. Greene was an All Star this month for the first time, and deservedly so.
But that's probably not what the Braves can or should expect from Greene. His ERA suggests he belongs among the elite closers in the game, but there's plenty of smoke and mirrors involved in getting him to that point. Greene has a .178 BABIP (.303 career mark) and 85.2% strand rate (69.1% career mark), two numbers he likely can't sustain. He has increased his groundball rate to 53.8% and his strikeout rate to 28.5%, both career-bests, so that's not to say he hasn't improved. It's just that the surface numbers probably overstate the extent to which Greene has improved.
For example, while his 1.18 ERA is elite, his 3.45 SIERA suggests he's going to come back to earth. That does represent an improvement on Greene's career mark of 3.88, so there's been obvious improvement, but it would be foolish to consider Greene an elite Fantasy option, even on a contender.
And, we've seen how bad things can go for Greene when they go bad. He had a 5.12 ERA last season, largely due to his struggles keeping the ball in the yard, but even his 4.53 career ERA would lead to some real heartburn in Atlanta. In all likelihood, he keeps the job and serves as a reliable Fantasy option, rendering the likes of Jackson and Minter irrelevant for Fantasy. The rest of the Braves' bullpen options can be safely dropped.
But they shouldn't be forgotten. If Greene does turn back into the 2018 version of himself, Jackson could get another shot. The Braves might be taking on more than they bargained for in this deal.
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