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Closer Updates: Marlins, Red Sox, Twins

Don't be misled by the relative lack of tweets from @closernews over the next couple days. It'll return to keeping you posted on all things stoppers just as soon as the regular season resumes ... when Fernando Rodney closes out the NL All-Stars (and assures the Orioles home-field advantage in the World Series).

Marlins
Heath Bell still stinks, and Juan Carlos Oviedo is beginning a minor league assignment in anticipation of his return from suspension for identity fraud. So, naturally, the only thing for Ozzie Guillen to do was suggest that Bell and Oviedo could share save opportunities once JCO is back. This is easily the most ingenious plot twist the producers of "The Franchise" have come up with yet.

Anyway, am I taking this seriously? Frankly, yes, because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and that's exactly what I expect out of the Fish these days. The Marlins would have been justified in making this move basically at any point this season, and yet they've waited till now? And for a so-so pitcher in Oviedo who's coming off a personal scandal?

The soonest Oviedo can be activated is July 23, at which point you have to figure he'll need a few Major League outings before he's thrown back into high-leverage situations. That could push back a potential return to closing around Aug. 1. So, if you've got some bench to play with and you're desperate for saves, Oviedo is a guy you can pounce on now. The payoff probably won't be huge, but there's no sense in leaving saves on the wire if you need 'em and your team is in contention.

Red Sox
So, yeah, Andrew Bailey ... The latest on him is that he might not be back till late August or September after having his rehab throwing sessions scaled back, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Obviously, this is not good news. And there's not a whole lot of case-specific insight I can offer on this other than that the 40% of you Yahoo! leaguers who are still holding on can move on, unless you have no more pressing uses for your DL slots.

Despite an ugly ERA and a couple notable blown saves, Alfredo Aceves' peripherals have settled nicely, culminating in a 3.38 SIERA. Ideally, you'd like to see him whittle that down closer to 3.00, but the point is he's capable of holding onto the gig and should do so with little competition. He'll help your team if it needs it, and if you had designs on flipping him, his trade value just increased substantially.

That being said, Bailey has become yet another in a long line of closers this season who've furnished the don't-pay-for-saves set with plenty of ammo. I'm probably overstating things a bit here, but I do wonder whether we'll see owners drafting differently next spring.

Twins
Contrary to my conservative estimate for his return from the DL, Matt Capps could be back with the Twins once games resume, which would basically amount to the minimum stay if you factor in the All-Star break. I don't suspect anyone is especially pleased by this development, certainly not Twins fans nor Capps owners of years past -- and perhaps not Capps' current owners.

It's been whispered in other dark corners of the interwebs that Capps will immediately return to closing, but I'm not necessarily sold on that. Jared Burton and Glen Perkins have split closing duties in Capps' absence and done a (mostly) nice job, and, well, Capps is Capps.

Regardless of what the Twins ultimately decide, though, Burton's and Perkins' owners should hold on till Capps is back, healthy and effective. It's worth mentioning again that Capps is something of a trade candidate, so even if Burton and Perkins are banished back to the seventh and eighth innings once Capps is back, they would of course pick up the slack in the event he were traded.

Argh.

Quickly
Rumors are kicking up that the Royals will take offers on Jonathan Broxton. I do think that he'll drew a lot of interest considering his history and season performance to date, but glancing at the peripherals, a firm caveat emptor is in order. Anyway, Greg Holland is the guy to look at as a handcuff. ... Nationals righty Drew Storen has begun a minor league rehab stint and will soon rejoin the big club. Davey Johnson sounded firm in declaring Tyler Clippard his one-and-only closer, but I'm calling bullshyte on that if Storen comes back strong and Clipp hits a rough patch. ... Blue Jays closer Sergio Santos has finally been cleared to ramp up his rehab efforts after so many starts and stops. I'm cautiously optimistic that this time's the charm, but in any event, it'll be at least a couple weeks till he's back and probably more, by my calculation. Casey Janssen owners should sit tight ... Mets closer Frank Francisco, too, is rehabbing and is expected to get his closing job back upon his return. Similarly, though, Bobby Parnell owners may as well hold on as long as they can.


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