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Join SI.com's James Quintong in a discussion of some of the latest news in football, baseball and other sports and how it relates to fantasy teams and leagues.
8/24/2007 06:26:00 PM

Closer change in Atlanta

My colleague Brooks Peck already discussed the subject as a hypothetical, which became a reality as the Braves designated closer Bob Wickman for assignment. It’s a stunning move for a contender to cut ties with their closer like this, especially since he hasn’t been downright awful -- although giving up a 12th-inning game-winning homer to the Reds on Thursday apparently was the final straw.

What makes the move even more intriguing is that the Braves don’t have a slam-dunk option at closer to replace him right now. They did have a bunch of options before, but Mike Gonzalez was lost to Tommy John surgery early in the season, Rafael Soriano has been ordinary lately and recent acquisition Octavio Dotel is on the disabled list. As Peck mentioned in his piece, Oscar Villarreal and Peter Moylan may be options to close in the interim if Soriano doesn’t get the job right now. And there’s a good chance Dotel will be given the job whenever he returns from his injury.

For now, Villarreal and Soriano look to be the guys to target now, and then stashing away Dotel just in case. If you’re really desperate, maybe Moylan is an option.

Wickman’s future is obviously up in the air, and depending on where he lands, he might still be a contender for saves. But that’s obviously a big if right now.
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