7 potential trade destinations and returns for Craig Kimbrel

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox, Fernando Tatis Jr.
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San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres need a boost and it could come in the form of Craig Kimbrel.

The San Diego Padres had high hopes of entering the 2021 season with stars like Manny Machado and Frenando Tatis Jr and a pitching rotation that featured Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Chris Paddock. Then they imploded. They had dreams of winning the NL West but in reality, they couldn’t even crack a Wild Card spot.

The only thing the Padres have been the champions of in the past decade is the offseason. Their closer Mark Melancon is now a free agent. The Padres roster is too talented to not try and improve this offseason and AJ Preller has never been shy about targeting the best reliever on the market. Why not spring for a reunion with Craig Kimbrel?

Without Melancon, the Padres do not have a clear cut closer. However, they have all the bridge pieces in place. Robert Suarez was just added from Japan. He had 42 saves for the Hanshin Tigers and throws 100 mph but is an unknown commodity. He may be better served in a setup role.

Luis Garcia is another hard thrower but has been plagued with inconsistency his past several seasons. Drew Pomeranz has been solid but injury-prone. Meanwhile, Pierce Johnson owns an impressive 11.9 K/9 in his past two seasons but walks far too many batters to be considered the closer.

Trading for a high-priced talented reliever like Kimbrel is exactly the type of move the Padres would make.

CJ Abrams is the number one prospect in the Padres system but he plays shortstop. With Frenado Tatis Jr locked on the roster for the next decade, that makes Abrams expendable. Could the White Sox make him their new second baseman? It is worth a shot.