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The nature of the trade deadline is that anything you say could be totally obsolete in a few hours or even minutes. Maybe you had resigned yourself to Carlos Gomez finishing out his disappointing season in Milwaukee yesterday afternoon, only to watch him get shipped out to Houston a few hours later. Deals often materialize seemingly out of thin air, and they can drastically change your Fantasy team's outlook at the worst time.
In my Head-to-Head categories league, for instance, I have been rolling with just two closers for the last few weeks: Craig Kimbrel and Joakim Soria. I lost Jason Grilli to injury a few weeks back, so I have had little flexibility when it comes to saves, and after Soria's trade to Pittsburgh, things are looking even worse.
Of course, the good thing about the trade deadline is it is always a chance for players to get new opportunities. For every deposed closer shipped off in late July, there is some fireballing youngster waiting in the wings ready to step in -- you have to be quick to pounce on these. In my case, I also have to worry about a potential trade of Kimbrel some time in the near future, with the Yankees looming as one specific contender that could put him in a worse Fantasy position. Would they really resign both Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances to a setup role?
The hours after a trade goes down are the time to be proactive, so I added Arodys Vizcaino Thursday. The 24-year-old doesn't have a long track record of success, but he does have one very important thing: Opportunity. He is likely to serve as the Braves closer down the stretch, and he comes to the table as a former top prospect who is armed with a fastball he can dial up to 98 mph consistently. After Jim Johnson's trade, this is his opportunity to show he can develop into the next great Braves closer.
Vizcaino isn't the only reliever likely to step into a more significant role as a result of a trade. Someone will be the closer for the Tigers in the wake of Soria's trade, but it isn't clear yet who will. Any of Al Alburquerque, Bruce Rondon and Neftali Feliz could be worth streaming to see if they get the chance.
Right now, having a spot or two on your roster to play with isn't the worst thing in the world. With how fluid MLB rosters are, having the flexibility to take a chance on guys in new roles could pay dividends. Take chances. Playing it safe won't win you a title at this point.
Roberto Osuna, Blue Jays (34 percent owned)
Save opportunities haven't exactly flowed forth for Osuna since he got in the mix for the ninth inning, but that could change moving forward -- assuming the Blue Jays don't add a proven closer before 4 p.m. today. Osuna continues to impress as a 20-year-old and has successfully closed out six opportunities in the last month and a half, with a 2.03 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings since his first attempt June 22. With the additions of Troy Tulowitzki, David Price and even LaTroy Hawkins, the Blue Jays are better situated to take early leads and hang onto them into the ninth inning, where Osuna could see a lot more save opportunities -- assuming the Blue Jays don't add a proven closer. If you're looking for someone to replace Soria on your roster, he might be the best high-upside option.
Daniel Norris, Tigers (27 percent owned)
Moving away from the ninth inning, Norris is another high-upside player who is going to get a chance to make a difference for Fantasy players down the stretch. The 22-year-old showed promise in his stint in the majors earlier, but also struggled mightily with his command in his five starts with the Blue Jays. That remains the biggest hurdle to his success and he wouldn't be the first young pitcher to struggle to harness his stuff and fail to live up to his potential. Still, that potential has made him a top-20 prospect in baseball this season, and he is joining the Tigers rotation for as long as he can prove himself worthy. With his pedigree, even his struggles with control make him a worthy flier to at least see if he can figure things out.
Domingo Santana, Brewers (65 percent owned)
Because the Astros have had an overabundance of center fielders lately, playing time has been somewhat tough to come by for the guys on the periphery. That is why, despite posting a more than solid .256/.310/.462 line in 42 plate appearances, Domingo Santana found himself sent back to Triple-A in early July. With his move to Milwaukee in the Carlos Gomez trade, there's a chance for Santana to break into the everyday lineup, though it isn't exactly clear where. The Brewers could run out retreads in center field and keep Santana marinating in Triple-A, or they could throw caution to the wind and see if the hulking slugger can handle it himself -- he's logged 20 appearances at center in the minors. With Khris Davis and Ryan Braun occupying the corners, playing time could be tough to come by if they don't slot him in center. But, in deeper leagues, it might be worth taking a flier on his power potential -- Santana has 16 homers in 75 games at Triple-A this season.