Team-by-team NL saves, bullpen projections

Shawn Kelley of the Nationals may only have fantasy value until Washington starts dealing. Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

While many view the Washington Nationals as a 2017 playoff team and perhaps a World Series contender, as of today there isn’t an experienced closer on the roster. That hardly means veteran right-handers Shawn Kelley, Joe Blanton, Blake Treinen or even youngster Koda Glover aren’t capable of saving 35-plus games, but it does seem a bit odd that the Nationals, with a veteran manager and a team that has played key October games in recent years -- and failed in them -- hasn’t signed or traded for someone with the closer tag attached to them.

Fantasy owners are looking at the Nationals and thinking it’s a ripe buying opportunity, and at this point that means Kelley, but there’s risk. For one, Kelley enters the season at age 32 with 11 career saves, and he has yet to reach 60 innings in a big league season. He’s not the most durable fellow. Second, the Nationals have been linked to Chicago White Sox closer David Robertson. A trade at any time, as alluded to in the look at American League bullpen report Tuesday, would make perfect sense.