The Chicago White Sox has a lot invested in Craig Kimbrel which is bad.
It was pretty clear that the White Sox were trying to trade Craig Kimbrel this offseason. Everyone knows it. That is why it is very concerning that he is still on the roster. Despite being having a career 2.18 ERA and 372 saves on his resume, he cannot be trusted in 2022.
His struggles last year were well documented. After dominating with the Cubs he was dealt to the White Sox to help with their World Series push. Kimbrel got shelled to the tune of a 5.09 ERA and converted just one of four save opportunities. He never looked comfortable in his new role as a setup man after being a Hall of Fame-caliber reliever.
His Cactus League appearances have not inspired much confidence either. It’s not that the eight-time All-Star is no longer talented. He proved that during the first half of the season with the Cubs. But mentally the White Sox are setting him up for failure.
Kimbrel knows the team was trying to get rid of him this offseason. He also is not comfortable being used as a setup man. Meanwhile, he is carrying an option worth 16 million which puts tremendous pressure on him to perform.
His confidence looked shot by the end of last season. Tony La Russa would be wise not to lean too heavily on Kimbrel in 2022.