Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Is Kimbrel A Luxury Asset?

What is his value to a revamped Braves team and is it greater then what they can get for him now or at the trade deadline?

With all the moves the Atlanta Braves have done this off-season there is still one very important question left to be answered, what should they do with Craig Kimbrel? Do you keep a closer that may not have as many opportunities on a team that you don’t know what they are yet or if they will be able to compete in enough games to make it worth keeping Kimbrel around.

Kimbrel is a fan favorite, is locked up for the next few years and is one of the most dominant relievers in baseball. With that said, does it make a lot of sense to hang onto a closer that may not get the chance to save as many games. Maybe now is not the best time to move him as typically moving a reliever closer to the deadline will garner a more bountiful return. By waiting, you can also see how the team is handling the newly re-vamped roster. Maybe they ride a good starting rotation and are able to manufacture more runs then anticipated and surprise a lot of people. If not then having the unnecessary luxury of a closer does not make as much sense.

The Braves are trying to gear up for their move to SunTrust Park in 2017, and likely by that time Kimbrel’s value would not likely be as high as it would be now. If some of the new arms that were acquired this off season look like they have rebounded from down years then maybe there is a capable guy there that can step into that role in the interim.

A possible return that could be retrieved might just be enough for GM John Hart to part with his golden armed closer and get some more assets in his quest to prepare the Braves for their move to SunTrust.

Recent deals that have included the likes of Justin Upton, Jason Heyward and Evan Gattis have brought back many top prospects, most of them young arms. On a team that also has many questions on offence some quality bats could be a nice and welcomed addition.

There is still time before the season for Hart to address that, especially in left field. There are still some free agents still available as well so that could also affect the teams willingness and/or need to move Kimbrel anytime soon.