Three reasons why the Phillies need to trade for Craig Kimbrel.
Ironically, the first major trade Dombrowski made after taking over the Boston Red Sox was acquiring Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres in November 2015. Fast-forward to Major League Baseball’s July 30, 2021, trade deadline, and the baseball community may just experience some déjà vu.
Here are the top three reasons why Dombrowski must reunite with and acquire the 2018 World Series champion.
1. The Phillies would finally have a lockdown closer.
The Phillies seemingly have lacked a lockdown closer since the days of Jonathan Papelbon — a fellow former World Series-winning member of the Red Sox — and, of course, the perfect 2008 season from Brad Lidge.
Kimbrel has blown just two of his 24 save opportunities this season. Hector Neris alone has six blown saves out of 18 opportunities, not to mention the several other Phillies relievers who have failed to maintain a lead late in games. The Phillies lead MLB with 23 blown saves.
Before the Phillies’ Tuesday evening series opener against the New York Yankees, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury said on air that he loves the idea of the Phillies landing Kimbrel. “When I look at this team, I think where could they be if they had a lockdown closer,” Salisbury said. “That would help the whole bullpen — not just the ninth inning. Everyone would slot down a little bit. Those saves you blow in the seventh and eighth inning might disappear, as well as the ones in the ninth inning.”