Dodgers: 3 dream trade deadline targets for LAD
2. Craig Kimbrel
No, we don’t want to disrupt Kenley Jansen’s best season since 2017 … but the Dodgers need to further anchor the back end of their bullpen at almost any cost. If that means importing Kimbrel from a floundering Cubs team and splitting the high-leverage save situations, then so be it. This team cannot head into the postseason with its current crop of relievers.
Joe Kelly is rebounding while Phil Bickford has been a pleasant surprise, but Victor Gonzalez and Jimmy Nelson are on the injured list and we have no idea if Tommy Kahnle will pitch this year or if Corey Knebel will return (and if he does, will he be effective?). Also, what is David Price? A starter or reliever? Figure it out, please. That leaves Jansen and Blake Treinen as the only uninterrupted constants. That’s simply not enough.
Most of those problems can be solved with the addition of Kimbrel, who’s been astounding as the Chicago Cubs’ closer. He might be the most expensive trade deadline piece this year, though. But you get what you pay for! And what you’d get is:
- 0.57 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 1.11 FIP, and 54 strikeouts in 31.2 innings
He also comes with a $16 million team option with a $1 million buyout. If he works out and the Dodgers have trouble retaining Jansen, there’s your closer for 2022. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. The focus is for July 31 through (hopefully) the World Series.
Kimbrel would make the Dodgers a terrifying postseason opponent and give them a significant edge in the NL West race since their direct rivals also need relief help.