Should the Phillies target Craig Kimbrel again this winter?
The Philadelphia Phillies offseason is in full effect. After firing hitting coach Joe Dillon and infield coach Juan Castro, the Phillies made news this week by hiring Kevin Long to replace Dillon. Of course, the focus of the Phillies needs to be the roster.
There are evident holes throughout the lineup, with left field, shortstop, and centerfield being the main areas of concern. From there, we have the bullpen, which continues to be the main struggle over the last few years.
News broke that the Chicago White Sox will be picking up reliever Craig Kimbrel’s $16 million option this offseason, with plans on trading him this winter. Kimbrel was moved at the trade deadline and was targeted by the Phillies. Instead, the Phillies landing pitching help with Ian Kennedy and starter Kyle Gibson.
Kimbrel was rock solid in Chicago, with a 0.49 ERA and 0.71 WHIP with the Cubs. As a member of the White Sox, he definitely struggled and had a 5.09 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with the White Sox.
In the playoffs, Kimbrel appeared three times for the Sox and allowed three runs as Chicago lost to the Astros. To make things even worse, Kimbrel allowed six home runs in 27 games for the White Sox, while only allowing one home run in 39 appearances with the Cubs.
Kimbrel is however, an MLB closer. The White Sox already had one of the best closers in the game in Liam Hendricks, which put Kimbrel in an 8th inning set up role with the White Sox.
The Phillies need bullpen help. Kimbrel is back on the market. I’m not saying make the move quite yet, but with Kennedy, Hector Neris, and Archie Bradley all hitting free agency, the Phillies will certainly have Kimbrel on their list of relievers to inquire about this winter.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY SPORTS