By: Tucker Peterson
Only a day after trading away 8th-inning set up man Joaquin Benoit, the Padres have followed suit and traded their All-Star relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel. The Boston Red Sox send 4 prospects back to San Diego for the premiere closer. Boston gets Kimbrel for the final 3 years of his 4 year, $42 million contract.
New Red Sox GM Mike Hazen gets a stud in Craig Kimbrel, who played 5 seasons with the Atlanta Braves before getting traded to the San Diego Padres last season. He was an All-Star for 4 straight years, from 2011-14. He led the league in saves in each of those 4 seasons and had 39 saves last year. In total, Kimbrel has 225 saves in 6 seasons (only 1 his rookie season), and boasts a 1.63 Career ERA, per Baseball-Reference.
In return, San Diego gets 4 minor league players: left-handed pitcher Logan Allen, outfielder Manuel Margot, and infielders Javier Guerra & Carlos Asuaje. Per ESPN, Asuaje and Margot were the only players to make it as high as Double-A last season.
After this past week, it is very clear that AJ Preller and the San Diego front office are trying to rebuild their farm system after depleting it with trades last off season. They dump 2 steep salaries (almost $20 million in 2016) in 2 days for 6 minor league prospects. The moves are a bit odd, considering how aggressive Preller was at acquiring big names last winter. Now, the Padres look to have down geared in efforts to build a team of the future.
Jayson Stark of ESPN received a tell-all quote from Boston Red Sox President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski. “We didn’t give anything up at the major league level to affect our club this year,” Dombrowski said. “It’s good talent. Some of it’s a while away.”
It is fair to say a team like the Padres should not be rostering high salaries to two closers in the bullpen. If the Padres are going to progress in 2016 they need to add more key every-day position players. Look for the Padres to seek infield help in free agency this winter.