MLB insider says Phillies have enough prospects to acquire star closer

Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Chicago White Sox (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Chicago White Sox (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The Phillies can land 8-time All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel, per Jon Heyman.

The Philadelphia Phillies have recently made a slew of acquisitions, particularly at the catcher position — acquiring Garrett Stubbs from the Houston Astros and Donny Sands from the New York Yankees on Friday. The day began with two catchers on their 40-man roster (J.T. Realmuto and Rafael Marchan) and ended with four.

Could a trade be in the works involving Marchan and/or Arizona Fall League standout Logan O’Hoppe? If so, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski could have his sights set on acquiring a premiere closer. According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, finding a closer is the team’s “top objective” at this point in the offseason.

The Phillies have three big names in mind: free-agent Kenley Jansen, as well as trade candidates Josh Hader and Craig Kimbrel. And while Heyman said on MLB Network that it is most likely Jansen will re-sign with the Dodgers, he believes one of Hader or Kimbrel “may well end up on the Phillies.”

“If I were to predict right now, I would say Kimbrel,” the scribe added. “Philly does not have a ton of prospects to trade, but I think they have enough to come up with Kimbrel.”

Even though the Chicago White Sox exercised the 33-year-old’s $16 million team option for the 2022 season, he remains a trade candidate — especially since the American League Central club already has one of the best closers in the game in Liam Hendriks. “I think Kimbrel is likely to be traded somewhere,” said Heyman. “We know Dave Dombrowski has that connection via Boston.”

Kimbrel started the year with a 0.49 ERA and 0.709 WHIP across 39 relief appearances with the Chicago Cubs, before struggling with a 5.09 ERA in 24 outings as a member of the White Sox. The eight-time All-Star and 2018 World Series champion has a 2.18 career ERA across his 12 seasons in the majors. His 372 career saves is the active leader and the ninth-most on the all-time list.

Meanwhile, Hader — who Heyman thinks has a “decent chance” to be traded — has been linked to the Phillies via rumors before, including ahead of the August 2020 trade deadline. Heyman added: “We have talked about [Hader] on the market for years and he has never been traded, but I think Milwaukee will look at it again. ”

The closer position is just one of many needs for the Phillies to fill this offseason. Among the others include finding a center fielder and left fielder, with both Odubel Herrera and Andrew McCutchen now in free agency. Possibly a reunion between newly hired hitting coach Kevin Long and a slugging outfielder who played with the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox in 2021 is in the works.

Dombrowski traded for Kimbrel once before; why not again?

More. 5 Philadelphia Phillies prospects we wish were never traded. light