Craig Kimbrel: Potential Trade Scenarios

Texas Rangers

Another team who earned themselves an early exit in the first round of the playoffs due to a lack of bullpen depth and success, the Texas Rangers, may also be interested in Craig Kimbrel should he become available this offseason. For the Rangers, Kimbrel may be the piece the bullpen needs to get back to the playoffs in 2016. Similarly to the Houston Astros, the Rangers have a strong farm system and could be a good trade partner for the Padres, who are in desperate need of a restocking of their farm system.

While the Rangers would seemingly be unwilling to part with their more upper echelon prospects such as Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara, some combination of lesser prospects could be enough to cause the Padres to jump at the opportunity. While the Yankees and Astros already have a head start given the trade deadline talks, the Rangers have an advantage due to AJ Preller’s familiarity with both GM Jon Daniels as well as the Rangers farm system. This relationship could pay off for both men and lead to some sort of deal.

Arizona Diamondbacks

An interesting team to watch in the potential Craig Kimbrel sweepstakes is the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite being nearly out of contention at the trade deadline, the Diamondbacks still made offers to both the Padres and Reds, for their closers, Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman, respectively. This includes the supposed conversation between Preller and Diamondbacks’ GM Dave Stewart, in which Preller reportedly asked for Paul Goldschmidt in return for Craig Kimbrel.

Yeah, nah.

The Diamondbacks certainly were serious in their interest in both Kimbrel and Chapman, and could be a dark horse candidate to acquire either one this offseason. For Arizona, the biggest priority should be improving their pitching staff, but that can be done via free agency. The Diamondbacks have the money to spend, and seemingly the will to spend it, and could be able to afford several free agent acquisitions and a trade of young talent to acquire Kimbrel to solidify a shaky bullpen. This seems a more unlikely scenario than those above given the fact that the Diamondbacks are in the same division as the Padres. With that being said, it wouldn’t be wise to count them out of anything at this point.

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