The Craig Kimbrel Situation: Gain a prospect or lose a problem?

*Allow me to preface this by saying this is not direct rosterbation but rosterbation used as example

A lot has been said about the Craig Kimbrel situation this offseason. Trade ‘em or pay ‘em. I’m not here to defend my stance. We all have our opinions and reasons. I think it is in the best interest of the team to trade him now. Right now. Instead, I’m writing this to run a different approach by you.

The fact of the matter is that Craig Kimbrel’s return will not match his value to the team. He is the best at what he does on the Braves and the best reliever in the game, by far. There really hasn’t been a reliever this dominant, this early in the history of the game. And because of that, he is going to be the highest paid pitcher on the Braves next season by about $2m and he’ll pitch less than 10% of the team’s innings. The only reasonable comparison I’ve come across is Jonathan Papelbon. Through his first 3 full seasons Kimbrel has totaled an 8.6 WAR. During the same time in his career, Papelbon totaled an 8.7 WAR. (peripherals favor Kimbrel by a large margin)This was done during KImbrel’s 23-25 age seasons and Papelbon’s 25-27 age seasons. Papelbon went on to earn $27.6m the following 3 years and Kimbrel is projected to earn $7.25m this coming season, a $1m bump from Papelbon’s first season. It’s realistic to expect that if Kimbrel repeats last year(the worst of his career) the following 2 seasons he’ll be closer to $35m than to Papelbon’s $27.6m during that span.

The Braves can’t afford that for a closer. Not many teams can. More so, of the few that can, even less want to pay him that and give the Braves a large return package. A trading team could try to extend him but you don’t like to give relievers too many years. And even at a discount price that covers the next 3 and 2 or 3 more, he’s still the highest paid reliever in the game. So what could the team get in return?

I looked at many different options to find a fit, and the right return, for Dirty C. Who needed a closer? Package him with Uggla. What does the return look like? The best option I could come up with was Kimbrel from Rick Porcello(that GB% would look even better with simmons behind him), Nick Castellanos and……. nothing that would satisfy me. (this was before the Fielder trade and Nathan signing). In reality, no team will be willing to part with a prospect/player package that can match his value to us. Not for a reliever regardless of how dominate he is. I think we can all agree on that. But a team may part with $$ that would be just as valuable to the Braves as a few top 50 prospects would be.

I actually think this is a good deal for all but this is just an example:

Under the assumption Cano signs with Seattle and Choo with the Yankees


· Give - Craig Kimbrel, Chris Johnson, BJ Upton, Jason Hursh, Tyler Pastornicky

· Receive - Josh Donaldson, Brett Gardner, Brandon Nimmo

· Gardner, Donaldson, Heyward, Upton, Freeman, Gattis, La Stella, Simmons Need I say more?


· Give – Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams, $40m

· Receive – Craig Kimbrel, Brett Anderson, Chris Johnson

· Sanchez and Williams are now blocked, OF is already crowded without Choo, rumored to be in on Choo and Anderson, money won’t count against $189 cap they claim to care about, Kimbrel is perfect fit to replace Mo


· Give – Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson, Brett Anderson

· Receive – Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams, Wilmer Flores, Michael Fulmer, Jason Hursh

· Shopping Anderson and Cespedes, would probably take a deep package over the rumored Skaggs and Pollack, Flores ready to replace Donaldson


· Give – Wilmer Flores, Michael Fulmer, Brandon Nimmo

· Receive – Yoenis Cespedes, BJ Upton, Tyler Pastornicky, $40m

· May not want the OF K% of Chris Young, BJ and Cespedes but not giving up too much, may overlook cause of desperate need for OF bats, with the additional money BJ would cost less than $20m over the next 4 seasons (they did take Jeff Francoeur)

Mets rumored to be in Granderson which would end this idea but again just an example. I’ve considered the White Sox to replace them taking the same package and giving Gordon Beckham and Christopher Beck.

So what do y’all think? Trade for a package of players who have the potential of totaling a WAR over he next few years worth $40m or clear the $59.8m left on BJ’s contract?

This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.

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