The Padres gave up arguably their top prospect to acquire Craig Kimbrel last offseason, and when that wasn't enough to get them to the playoffs, they pawned him off to the Red Sox for some new prospects. Coming off arguably his worst season, the move to the AL might raise some concerns, but keep in mind Kimbrel's "struggles" last year were mostly confined to April. Over his final 44 appearances from mid-May on, he had a 1.44 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings -- numbers that wouldn't have raised alarm in anyone. He should also get back to the 40-save threshold with an expected contender. He may not be the top closer entering 2016 just because the others in that conversation didn't let up at all last year, but he's as likely as ever to finish at No. 1 and is still one of maybe four closers worth drafting early.
The Padres have agreed to trade Kimbrel to the Red Sox, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. There were rumors that the Red Sox were in the market for a new closer with 40-year-old Koji Uehara losing another tick on his fastball, and it seems they have landed their guy in Kimbrel. It's uncertain, however, who all is headed to San Diego in the deal. Kimbrel fell one save shy of 40 last season, and his 2.58 ERA was a career-worst mark, but he fanned 36.4 percent of he batters he faced and should be a top-five closer off the board come spring.
Padres closer Craig Kimbrel struck out two batters and allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his 38th save in a 3-0 win over Arizona on Saturday. It's amazing that Kimbrel has 38 saves on such a bad team, but it shows you how valuable he can be. He now ranks in the top-five of saves and strikeouts for all closers. Kimbrel has also been a bit unlucky this year, as his 14 percent home run-to-flyball rate is a career high. Not many closers are as reliable as Kimbrel and it makes him a great draft pick year after year.
Padres pitcher Craig Kimbrel (3-2) absorbed a blown save, but earned a win Wednesday night, giving up one earned run on a hit while striking out two in a 5-4 win over the Giants. Kimbrel's blown save came on a wild pitch, allowing Buster Posey to score and tie the game. The Padres would ultimately win on a walk-off Jedd Gyorko RBI single, awarding Kimbrel a victory as the pitcher of record. Kimbrel's outings have come less frequently of late, making just six appearances thus far in September. The 27-year-old closer has pitched to a career-worst 2.72 ERA, but maintained an encouraging 13.01 K/9.
Craig Kimbrel had no problems picking up his 36th save of the season, retiring the Nationals in order to preserve the Padres' victory Wednesday. Kimbrel bounced back from an outing Sunday in which he allowed two runs in a non-save situation to register his sixth straight save chance.
Padres closer Craig Kimbrel hasn't given up a run in successive outings since early May. That stretch continued Wednesday against visiting Atlanta. Kimbrel, who allowed a run in earning a save Monday, retired the Braves in order to preserve a 3-2 victory. He fanned Ryan Lavarnway in the process of nailing down his 35th save. He has 16 saves since July 2.