SI Vault
 
Modest Proposal
April 01, 2013
Craig Kimbrel is a member of a class that burns fast and hot: Many of his hard-throwing predecessors who began their careers by striking out 30% or more of the batters they faced—such as Rob Dibble, Jose Valverde and Francisco Rodriguez—peaked early before slipping or washing out. Kimbrel, 24, has nowhere to go but down after starting his career with a 1.46 ERA, 283 strikeouts and a 45.3% K rate in 1601/3 innings. It's the perfect time to trade him for an asset that has more value than a save specialist. The Braves could deal Kimbrel to the closerless Tigers for third base prospect Nick Castellanos, who is blocked by Miguel Cabrera, and fill a lineup hole for the next six years. Replacing Kimbrel isn't as crazy as you might think. Atlanta has a deep bullpen behind him. And year after year teams prove that the value of an established closer is vastly overrated. Trading Kimbrel would take advantage of the disconnect between a closer's real and perceived value while getting the Braves out from under a high-risk asset they've already gotten peak value from.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
April 01, 2013

Modest Proposal

View CoverRead All Articles

Craig Kimbrel is a member of a class that burns fast and hot: Many of his hard-throwing predecessors who began their careers by striking out 30% or more of the batters they faced—such as Rob Dibble, Jose Valverde and Francisco Rodriguez—peaked early before slipping or washing out. Kimbrel, 24, has nowhere to go but down after starting his career with a 1.46 ERA, 283 strikeouts and a 45.3% K rate in 1601/3 innings. It's the perfect time to trade him for an asset that has more value than a save specialist. The Braves could deal Kimbrel to the closerless Tigers for third base prospect Nick Castellanos, who is blocked by Miguel Cabrera, and fill a lineup hole for the next six years. Replacing Kimbrel isn't as crazy as you might think. Atlanta has a deep bullpen behind him. And year after year teams prove that the value of an established closer is vastly overrated. Trading Kimbrel would take advantage of the disconnect between a closer's real and perceived value while getting the Braves out from under a high-risk asset they've already gotten peak value from.

1