According to Buster Olney of ESPN, an enticing and surprising move could be made before the MLB trade deadline of July 31 that would give the New York Yankees one of the best bullpens in Major League Baseball.
Olney reported that the New York Yankees could become the new home of Padres right-handed closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel, 27, has 25 saves on the season with a 1.61 ERA.
Olney added that the Padres are desperate to remove some cash from their hefty payroll. San Diego began Monday being 9 1/2 games behind the National League West leaders, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Kimbrel is not the only attractive option at closer on the trade market right now. Aroldis Chapman of the Reds, Francisco Rodriguez of the Brewers, and Jonathan Papelbon of the Phillies have all been rumored to be on the market, making the demand for Kimbrel dramatically lower.
Interest in the other relievers could make it difficult for the Padres to dump Kimbrel to the New York Yankees as he is owed $11 million and $13 million over the next two seasons. In the 2018 season, Kimbrel comes with a 2018 club option, which includes a $1 million buyout.
That kind of money will most likely scare away other organizations, but the Yankees have stated their willingness to add cash as the trade deadline approaches.
At the end of every game, the New York Yankees can count on the incredible duo of Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances, and both pitchers would be willing to accept a seventh or eighth inning role. But it is unclear whether Kimbrel would accept any position other than closing after being the National League's leader in saves for the last four seasons.
Also, the bullpen for the New York Yankees is the least of their problems since it is already one of the league's best without Kimbrel.
Olney called the deal a long shot, but it would make the New York Yankees lead in the American League East harder to overcome, which makes the deal quite intriguing.
Of course, if the opportunity were to arise, the Yankees would chase Kimbrel. But at the same time, that is a lot of money to commit to one area of your club.
Do you think the New York Yankees will make a transaction in order to acquire Craig Kimbrel? If not, what other moves do you see the Yankees making before the trade deadline?
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