3. So Long, Craig Kimbrel
Dombrowski has certain players he seems to like, and Kimbrel is definitely one of them. Not only did Dombrowski trade four prospects to bring him to the Red Sox, but he also acquired him again by signing him to the Phillies last year. Kimbrel has rewarded that trust with another All-Star season at closer, going 6-2 with a 3.35 ERA and 30 saves.
However, we all know how insanely valuable relievers become at the deadline, and with Kimbrel on a one-year deal, he’s definitely expendable. Setup man Matt Strahm’s numbers are virtually identical to his, so he could step in and close if Kimbrel gets traded. Gregory Soto also has closing experience (52 career saves), so he’s an option as well.
If Dombrowski can use Kimbrel to land a bigger fish or fill a more pressing need, he’ll do it. Kimbrel’s also 35 and has been shaky in the postseason, as Dombrowski saw first-hand during Boston’s 2018 championship run. Perhaps he’d rather have a younger or more reliable closer for the stretch run, as Kimbrel’s put a lot of miles on his arm during his 14-year career.
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