The Boston Red Sox gave up a lot to get Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres. To some, the cost — four prospects, with two being elite-level — was too much for a relief pitcher. The Red Sox also have big needs in their starting rotation that may outweigh their needs in the bullpen. However you want to slice it, the Red Sox need pitching. Their starters ranked 24th in ERA, and the relievers ranked 26th. It was just a terrible all-around year for Boston pitchers. With no elite closing options on the free-agent market, the Red Sox had to make a trade for a pitcher like Kimbrel. The rotation can be addressed through free agency, as there are very few frontline arms likely to move through trade this winter.
While the Red Sox gave up a lot to get Kimbrel, in the long run, the trade will be worth it, and should pay off big for the Red Sox. Here are five reasons to love the trade.