Atlanta Braves Rumors: Who Will Be The Next Closer For The Braves?

Atlanta Braves rumors now shift to who will be the next closer. The Braves traded away All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel on Sunday, April 5, pulling off one more blockbuster deal before Opening Day. As reported by MLB.com, the Braves dealt Kimbrel and outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr. to the San Diego Padres. In return, the team receives right-handed pitcher Matt Wisler, outfielders Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin, and Jordan Paroubeck, and the No. 41 draft pick in June.

This move is a way for the Braves to shed a lot of salary and clear space for the 2016 MLB offseason. Kimbrel is owed $9 million this season, $11 million in 2016, and $13 million in 2017. He also has a team option for $13 million in 2018 that the Padres have a few years to decide upon. Upton is owed $14.45 million this season, $15.45 million next season, and $16.45 million in 2017. As for the return pieces, Quentin makes $8 million in his final contract year and Maybin is owed $16 million for the next two seasons.

Atlanta Braves rumors about a possible Craig Kimbrel trade had appeared earlier in the baseball offseason, but team president of baseball operations John Hart kept claiming he would not be dealing the All-Star closer. Apparently that thought shifted when an offer came along from the Padres that he couldn’t pass up. A report from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Hart on how the move went down.

“It was a hard thing to do. He was just a consummate professional. This is a guy, you want him to be your son, you want him to marry your daughter. He’s just an outstanding young man. He was very respectful of the opportunity to play for the Braves; he love loves the Braves. He understands the dynamic. He was just absolutely professional and classy.”