Evaluating the Return in the Craig Kimbrel Trade

**This article first appeared on Eastvillagetimes.com, home of quality thoughts about the Padres and Chargers**

Following the trade of Joaquin Benoit earlier in the week, it seemed  that the trade would mean Craig Kimbrel would still be the San Diego Padres closer come 2016. That, however, is not the case. On Friday afternoon, the Padres completed a blockbuster deal that sent the closer to the Boston Red Sox in return for four minor league prospects, outfielder Manuel Margot, infielders Javier Guerra and Carlos Asuaje, and left-handed pitcher Logan Allen.

At first glance, this seems like a rather large return for a reliever, even an elite one such as Craig Kimbrel. After secondary and tertiary glances at the return, that initial estimate holds true. The general consensus around baseball immediately following the trade is that the Padres made an absolute killing. For an elite reliever with at minimum two years and $24 million left on his contract (including a $13 million club option for a third year), the Padres got four prospects, two of which were at the top of the Red Sox system, with all four in the top 30. The quartet will quickly slot into the top of the Padres system.

More than enough is known about Kimbrel and the type of pitcher he has been and will be. What isn’t as well known is what kind of prospects the Red Sox are giving up, and what this means for the Padres immediate and long term future. Below, each prospect going to the Padres in the trade will be individually evaluated with an eye on the Padres future.

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