The big story in fantasy baseball is free agent closer Craig Kimbrel agreeing to a three-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, and those in the fantasy world who invested -- and were patient -- have to be feeling pretty good today. Kimbrel should join the Cubs later this month, and there is little question about his role. He will get the saves, and Pedro Strop, who did little wrong in the role, will handle setup duties along with Steve Cishek and others. While we should have some concerns about Kimbrel's performance in two of his three seasons with the Boston Red Sox, and he struggled in last season's playoffs, the bottom line is he remains a top-5 closer for fantasy.
Thursday is the day we discuss the free agents, and kudos to the many who resisted the temptation to cut Kimbrel in their leagues. He is rostered in nearly 70% of ESPN standard leagues, and that figure should only grow by the weekend, even if we do not see him pitch for the Cubs for several weeks, at least.
It has been an odd season for closers, with little noteworthy turnover except for the Braves and Rangers, and fantasy managers have been slow to show interest in the likes of the Phillies' Hector Neris, Braves' Luke Jackson and White Sox's Alex Colome. These fellows are saving games and available in myriad leagues.
Regardless, let us get to it, and this week, we start with the pitchers. When we get to hitters, note that colleague Tim Heaney expertly wrote this week about four underrated hitters who starred in May, so we will let his work speak for himself and focus on other players. As always, we go position-by-position to find relevant fantasy options to pick up, and some to drop.
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