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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Peralta, Soria Offer Free Saves; Miller a Closer in Waiting?

Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is Editor-at-Large at XN Sports and has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sun-Sentinel, and FantasyPros. He has previously covered sports for COED Magazine, Fantasy Alarm, and Manwall.com.

Closers are the most fickle investment in fantasy baseball and already owners who invested in guys like Joe Nathan and Jenrry Mejia are scratching their heads while owners who own players like Dellin Betances are already on edge and worrying.

Luckily, when one closer goes down another is quick to take his place. Let’s take a look at some sources for free saves available on your fantasy baseball waiver wire.

Joel Peralta – LAD (Owned in 19 percent of Yahoo leagues): Peralta earned the save last night against San Diego and is the odds-on favorite to man the ninth-inning job until the Dodgers’ flame-throwing closer Kenley Jansen returns mid-May.

Though he doesn’t have any real closing experience, the 39-year-old veteran is among the league’s best at keeping runners off base, posting a combined 1.015 WHIP going all the way back to 2010. Despite his age, Peralta can still get a lot of outs and is a must-have as long as he keeps getting ninth inning work.

Joakim Soria – DET (54 percent): With Joe Nathan out, Soria will take over the Tigers’ ninth inning role, a job he should have had over Nathan to begin with. In Kansas City, Soria was among the league’s best closers, converting 91+ percent of his save chances every year between 2008 and 2010. After missing all of 2012 and only playing 26 games in 2013, Soria stepped in admirably as the Rangers’ closer last season, converting 18 saves in 20 opportunities.

His numbers may not look as great as they did in KC but when the game is on the line Soria is as good as they come. Which is a lot more than we can say for Nathan.

Andrew Miller – NYY (64 percent): Although Dellin Betances is the team’s closer, it was Miller on the mound yesterday against the Blue Jays to earn his first save of the year and there’s already rumblings that Miller is better suited for the job.

Betances struggled in his first appearance, allowing a hit, two walks, and a run while Miller pitched a scoreless inning. Betances also struggled this spring, allowing five runs, nine hits, six walks, and a home run in just 8.1 innings while Miller was strong as he allowed just two runs and two walks over eight innings, striking out nine batters.

Miller may not be the team’s closer yet but the Yanks didn’t hand him a four-year, $36 million deal this offseason for him to sit back and watch Betances struggle.

Jason Grilli – ATL (68 percent): Grilli is probably gone in your league but he’s still available in 30+ percent of Yahoo leagues and is a must-have after earning two saves in the Braves’ first series of the season with Craig Kimbrel gone to San Diego.