Boston Red Sox: Five Realistic Blockbuster Trade Targets

5 of 6

Craig Kimbrel, CL – San Diego Padres

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Craig Kimbrel was a much discussed trade target at the trading deadline as the former Atlanta Braves closer seemed wasted in San Diego. With the Padres coming off a bad season in 2015 and with his expensive contract, Kimbrel seems destined to be back on the trade market.

Kimbrel has been otherworldly in his career as a closer. Whatever statistic you want to pull out to grade Kimbrel be it ERA, ERA+, WHIP, FIP, or just plain old saves, he is a premier closer and with Mariano Rivera retired, he is simply the best closer in baseball.

More from Chowder and Champions

The Red Sox–as anyone who watched the give away games with their motley crew of relief pitchers is aware–are in need of bullpen help. Without Koji Uehara healthy, the Red Sox late innings bullpen crumbled in 2015.  

While the Red Sox will be paying Uehara close to $9 million in 2016, if he is the eighth inning set-up man for a team contending for the playoffs no one will complain about the cost. Dave Dombrowski may have to flip Uehara for a prospect to recoup the prospects it would cost for Kimbrel.

Kimbrel is under contract for 2016 for $13 million and has a team option for 2017 at the same price tag. He will be 28 in 2016 and remains the premier closer in baseball. As such, the price will not be cheap. However, with a need for bullpen help, it makes sense for the Red Sox to target the best available while they have the deep farm system to entice the Padres to trade him.

Next: A Powerful Bat at Needed Position