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Friday, November 13, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: CRAIG KIMBREL HEADS TO BOSTON

For the second season in a row, the consensus top closer in fantasy baseball Craig Kimbrel got traded.  Just a little over a year since Kimbrel was dealt from the Atlanta Braves to the San Diego Padres, the Padres flipped him to the Boston Red Sox late Friday night.  The Padres receive four prospects from the Red Sox in return which helps replenish their farm system after they performed with a real life fantasy baseball mindset last offseason.  So with the trade completed, let's see what the ramifications are here.

Craig Kimbrel:  Kimbrel is really the only major league player worth talking about righty now and in terms of impact for 2016 fantasy baseball.  Since first arriving with the Braves, Kimbrel has been the most consistently dominant closer in the game.  The numbers have been staggering at times with Kimbrel as his ERA from 2011 through the 2014 seasons read like this:  2.10, 1.01, 1.21, and 1.61.  Those are mind-blowing numbers and Kimbrel has posted K/9 rates over 13.00 in every year of his major league career.  Now as far as last season was concerned, Kimbrel was a bit mortal as his 2.58 was another career high but in a bad sense.  Kimbrel has dealt with a few injury scares over the last two years and perhaps that has had something to do with it.  Still the 13.20 K/9 was excellent and Kimbrel looked like his old dominant self for long stretches of 2015.  Thus the Red Sox felt comfortable making the move and the result is that Kimbrel will push aside the aging Koji Uehara in the ninth inning.  While we like Aroldis Chapman as the number 1 closer in the game, Kimbrel is surely in the top five.

The other fallout from the trade is that the Padres now have an opening at closer.  Unless the Padres ink a free agent or swing a trade, the next man up should be third-year man Kevin Quackenbush.  The hard-throwing right has average a K/IP in his two major league seasons but his 4.01 ERA was a bit disappointing in 2015.  Quackenbush fights his control at times but his arm is potent in terms of missing bats.  He has the best chance to emerge early on in the season in terms of being the closer for the Padres.  Still this could change well before the season. 

 

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