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Isringhausen likely closer after K-Rod deal

Updated: July 13, 2011, 1:38 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

Francisco Rodriguez ranks fourth among active pitchers in saves with 291, but it's the fellow just ahead of him on the list, a guy that last picked up any saves three seasons ago, that you need to watch in fantasy baseball. K-Rod's surprise trade to the Milwaukee Brewers late Tuesday night not only makes fantasy's No. 18 closer on the Player Rater irrelevant for standard leagues the rest of this season, but it opens the door for a friendly face.

That's right, Jason Isringhausen likely will step into the closer role for the New York Mets, and while I half expect Izzy to get dealt at some point in July as well, the fact is he'll likely get the next Mets save. Isringhausen has 293 career saves, most with the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this decade. While many probably thought he retired, he's reborn at age 38, posting a 3.14 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. He's not Craig Kimbrel by any means, but he's experienced and now fortunate. I think this will actually go well, until Izzy ends up on the Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees or some other squad.

Looking at the list of available closers in ESPN standard (10-team) leagues, I see the Houston Astros' Mark Melancon and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Javy Guerra, and that's about it. Why are they available? Well, they have combined for three saves -- all by Guerra -- over the past 30 days. Blame their teams. The Mets, meanwhile, are a game over .500 and rank in the middle of the pack in save opportunities. Isringhausen should get more opportunities, and now he becomes ownable in all formats.

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