The Tampa Bay Rays are struggling so far this season, with a 34-49 record even after a win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. If they wind up trading ace David Price sometime in the next month, a look toward the future is likely with some young players moving into key roles. That transition is already starting at the back of the Rays’ bullpen, with Jake McGee picking up a save for a second straight game after closing out Saturday’s victory. Should fantasy baseball owners have the young left-hander on their radar now?
McGee now has three saves in four opportunities this season, along with eight holds, three wins, a 1.27 ERA and a 42:9 K/BB ratio in primarily a setup role up until the last two games. He had one save last season for Tampa Bay and spent most of his minor league career as a starter, so McGee doesn’t have a ton of experience as a closer at this point.
Grant Balfour started the season as Tampa Bay’s closer, but his struggles (5.52 ERA) led manager Joe Maddon to start using a committee approach with Joel Peralta and Juan Carlos Oviedo also picking up saves recently. The fact McGee has gotten the last two save opportunities may be telling, and as the trade deadline approaches Peralta and Oviedo may garner interest from contending teams.
McGee is available in over 75 percent of Yahoo! leagues right now, but with a few more successful save opportunities that is sure to change fairly quickly and he’s well worth adding immediately in mixed leagues. McGee has been tough on both left-handed (.189 batting average-against) and right-handed (.145) batters this year, which makes it unlikely he’ll be platooned out of the role in any major way. Even if the Rays won’t be a contender this year, McGee has a chance to be a major asset to fantasy owners down the stretch.