3. Craig Kimbrel reunites with Dave Dombrowski after Red Sox’ championship.
Craig Kimbrel signing with the Philadelphia Phillies officially marks his fourth different team in a short three years. His $10 million contract offer surely talks, but the closer’s relationship with President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski had to also be a deciding factor.
Dombrowski saw Kimbrel many times in spring training during his days leading the Detroit Tigers. Fast-forward to when he was at the helm of the Boston Red Sox, Dombrowski acquired Kimbrel in a November 2015 trade with the San Diego Padres.
While the swap featured four Red Sox prospects headed to the National League West, it was not considered as mortgaging their future and is revered as one of the executive’s best career moves.
Kimbrel, who Dombrowski has called a future Hall of Famer, went on to record 108 saves in three seasons with the Red Sox, including six saves in postseason play — culminating into a 2018 World Series championship. Without a doubt, it would be great if the pair can recapture their championship success five seasons later in Philadelphia.
Manager Rob Thomson’s 2023 Phillies bullpen depth chart now includes Kimbrel complemented by Seranthony Domínguez, José Alvarado, Connor Brogdon, and Matt Strahm — another former Red Sox arm — among others.
Opening Day for the 2023 season is now less than 100 days away, but pitchers and catchers will report to Clearwater, Florida, for spring training much sooner. With temperatures in the single digits before the Christmas holiday, baseball and warmer weather cannot come soon enough.