Red Sox Trade For Closer Craig Kimbrel
The Boston Red Sox took their first crack at this off season's hot stove action, under new team president Dave Dombrowski Friday, as they acquired closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres in exchange for four prospects.
After entering the major leagues in 2010 with the Atlanta Braves, who drafted him in the third round of the 2008 amateur draft, Kimbrel was dealt to the San Diego Padres prior to last season.
In 61 appearances during the 2015 campaign, the 27-year-old converted 39 of 43 save opportunities and finished the year with a 2.58 ERA. The year proved to be a step back for Kimbrel, who had led the National League in saves the previous four years with no less than 42 saves in each year. He also posted an ERA of 1.61 or lower in each of the previous four seasons.
The former National League Rookie of the Year appears to be slated to fill the closer's role for Boston, as they look to strengthen a bullpen that was a bit of a liability last season. With Kimbrel assuming ninth inning duties, incumbent closer Koji Uehara will presumably slide into a set up role.
To get the four-time All-Star, the Red Sox were forced to ship four minor leaguers back to San Diego.
The four Boston Prospects heading to the west coast are outfielder Manuel Margot, infielders Carlos Asuaje and Javier Guerra and left handed pitcher Logan Allen.
Margot and Asuaje both spent time at Double-A Portland last season, while Guerra and Allen haven't seen action above Single-A.
The deal marked Dombrowski's first major splash as Boston's president of baseball operations and showed that he is willing to sacrifice some of the young talent he inherited for players who can make an immediate impact in the big leagues.