Phillies: 3 Reasons Acquiring Closer Craig Kimbrel is a Must

Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with Craig Kimbrel #46 (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

3. Craig Kimbrel would not just be a ‘rental’ Phillies acquisition.

Acquiring closer Craig Kimbrel from the Chicago Cubs would not just help out the Phillies for the remaining two-plus months of the 2021 season, but also the entire 2022 season. His contract includes a club option for 2022 with a $16 million price tag, relatively friendly for a player of his caliber.

“The closer position has been an annual problem for the Phillies,” NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury said. “You would solve that next year.”

The Phillies may be wary to take on another high-dollar player, considering they are already so close to the luxury tax as is. Yet, Salisbury does not believe the tax is an “impediment” for the team seeking to get over the top and return to the postseason for the first time since 2011. It certainly wasn’t an impediment for Dombrowski in the past.

“John Middleton, the owner, has said that they would go over the luxury tax for the right opportunity,” Salisbury continued. “I see Craig Kimbrel for two years — and potential postseasons — as the right opportunity.”

The baseball scribe noted that with the collective bargaining agreement expiring this winter, he expects the luxury tax to be reset for next season. Therefore, the Phillies would likely only have to pay a one-time minimal fee. Going over the tax as a repeat offender is when it really starts to become an issue.

For repeat offenders, Salisbury notes that the tax “rolls over, multiplies and compounds.”

“With it leveling out next year and resetting,” he says, “you would only pay a tax this year — a very small one, depending on who you picked up.”

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