Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Could New York Have Acquired Craig Kimbrel?

Maybe I am in the minority here but whenever a big trade goes down I always wonder if my team, the New York Yankees, could have pulled off a similar trade to acquire that tremendous talent. That tremendous talent in this trade was Craig Kimbrel when the Atlanta Braves closer along with Melvin (BJ) Upton Jr. was traded to the San Diego Padres for Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin and prospects (including a draft pick). 

We all know that the only way a team was going to be able to acquire Kimbrel was to take that franchise changing contract is Upton and that is a contract that the Yankees could have easily swallowed. Upton is set to make $14.45 million in 2015, $15.45 million in 2016 and $16.45 million in 2017 essentially as a bench player now in San Diego. That salary is on top of Kimbrel's $9 million in 2015, $11 million in 2016, $13 million in 2017 and his $13 million club option in 2018. That's an absolute ton of salary on the books for a team that is trying to get under the luxury tax threshold as soon as the 2017 season. 

The Yankees could have easily matched or beat the players that the Padres gave up. This trade was all about salary relief and Yankees GM Brian Cashman tends to shine on trades like these over his tenure in New York. Would it be worth it though? Depending on what the Yankees gave up in the deal, for instance whether Atlanta took on Carlos Beltran like they did Quentin, would decide whether it was worth it. I want absolutely no part on Upton on the team and I could not justify a $15 million-ish AAV in right field or on the bench, even if it mean't Kimbrel joined the team. The idea of having Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Kimbrel at the back end of the bullpen would have been awfully exciting but having yet another contract bringing the team down for the next three season is something I am looking to avoid. 

Kimbrel would have been nice but not at the expense of Upton Jr. If they wanted Alex Rodriguez, which they wouldn't, then we would have another story completely but we don't so I'd ultimately pass on Kimbrel and Upton. 


  1. I do the same thing after a big trade, and at first I was wishing it was the Yankees that got Kimbrel. But now that I've thought about it I wouldn't have done it.

    First of all... Upton... No. Just... no.

    Secondly, our bullpen is already one of the best in the league. Would having Kimbrel there make that big a difference? I doubt it.

    1. If Tanaka only throws 4 IP a night, which he won't, then yes it would make a difference. You could theoretically get 2 IP each from Betances and Miller and hand it to Kimbrel in the 9th.

      Would have been nice to have but far from a necessity.


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