The Boston Red Sox have acquired four-time All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. This blockbuster deal was made by the new Boston Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski, who was signed by Boston in mid August. The Red Sox now have both Kimbrel and Koji Uehara to lead the bullpen, which has been a weak point of the team for the past number of years.
It has long been known that the Boston Red Sox have been interested in adding some type of reliever, seeing as their bullpen was ranked 26th in ERA last season at 4.24. This trade comes amid rumors that Dombrowski was interested in adding Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, who was been on the trade block for the better part of the year. However, the Kimbrel trade, finally, puts all of those rumors to rest.
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Craig Kimbrel, 27, has been one of baseball’s best relievers for many seasons. While he is not as dominant as he once was, he is still a solid closer who can surely get the job done when necessary. Last season in San Diego, Kimbrel accumulated 39 saves, a career low, in 59 1/3 innings with a 2.58 ERA. These numbers pale in comparison to the Kimbrel of the past, who carried a 1.43 lifetime ERA coming into the season.
The Boston Red Sox will reportedly pick up three years of control on Kimbrel. Craig is due $11 million next season, $13 million in 2017, and has a $13 million club option for 2018. The Red Sox are the sole party responsible for the Kimbrel’s contract over the next few seasons.
While the Red Sox are adding an ace-reliever in Kimbrel, the San Diego Padres look to have won this trade with a huge haul of promising prospects, including three of their top 12 minor leaguers.
Top outfield prospect Manuel Margot, shortstop Javier Guerra, infielder Carlos Asuaje, and lefty Logan Allen make up the return. Both Margot and Guerra rank inside the top 100 league-wide, according to MLB.com. This is more than the Padres gave up in order to acquire Kimbrel last season.
This is the second reliever that San Diego GM A.J. Preller has shipped away in as many days. The Padres exported experienced late-inning arm Joaquin Benoit to Seattle, who can act as a set-up man for the Mariners, on Tuesday. To the dismay of some, this looks to be another offseason of change for the San Diego organization.