Red Sox Acquire Craig Kimbrel

by Frank Pimentel | Posted on Friday, November 13th, 2015
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The Boston Red Sox have themselves a new closer, and his name is Craig Kimbrel. President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has made his first official trade with the Red Sox, and he certainly made a splash. Kimbrel will solidify the 9th inning for the Boston club over the next three years.

On Friday night, Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal first broke the news that Craig Kimbrel was making his way to Boston. The clubs both soon after confirmed the deal was official. The Red Sox sent top OF prospect Manuel Margot to the San Diego Padres along with LHP Logan Allen, SS Javier Guerra and IF Carlos Asuaje.

The Red Sox are getting a power-arm closer in Craig Kimbrel who also is as close to sure-thing as you can get when he gets the ball and the chance to record a save. Kimbrel is 27-years-old and has a career save percentage of 90.7%, which happens to be the second best all-time. He’s a four-time All-Star as a member of the Atlanta Braves, and has 225 career saves. Sure, the Red Sox gave up four prospects for Kimbrel, and at least one with some serious upside, but if you want a great player, you have to give up something good to get him.

Dave Dombrowski hired former Braves General Manager Frank Wren to his staff (Senior VP of baseball operations), and it’s no surprise that given their history together, Dombrowski took the advice of his right-hand man and got one of the absolute best closers in baseball. Even for the lowly Padres last season, Kimbrel managed 39 saves and a 2.58 ERA, but the indication is his numbers will look more like that of his Braves days with a better Boston club. From 2011 to 2014 Craig Kimbrel recorded 46, 42, 50 and 47 saves respectively. During those four incredible seasons, he received MVP votes in 2011-13 where he posted staggering ERA’s of 2.10, 1.01 and 1.21.

Since the start of his first full major league season in 2011, Kimbrel leads all big league relievers in saves (224), ranks second among them in ERA (1.70), strikeouts (523), strikeouts per nine innings (14.37), and save percentage (90.7%), is third in WHIP (0.91) and opponent batting average (.160), and is fourth in hits allowed per nine innings (5.05). The numbers on Kimbrel really speak for themselves.

The Red Sox now also can breath a huge sigh of relief moving 40-year-old Koji Uehara back to the set-up role where he thrived in 2013. It takes pressure off of Uehara, but also makes the Red Sox bullpen that much more formidable. Throw in Junichi Tazawa, Matt Barnes, and Robbie Ross and you’ve got the makings of a great bullpen. Let’s not forget the Red Sox have been linked to free agents such as Darren O’Day and Joakim Soria who could perhaps solidify the middle innings that much more.

It’s time to RELEASE THE KRAKEN at Fenway Park, because the Boston Red Sox now have Craig Kimbrel as their closer.

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Frank Pimentel
About the Author

Frank is a passionate baseball fan and writer. Aspiring baseball front office executive. Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankBostonTank.

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