The Duel

4 Most Likely Landing Spots for Craig Kimbrel

By Paul Shapiro
World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Three
World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Three / Sean M. Haffey
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Cover Photo: Getty Images

Craig Kimbrel's value might be increasing every day he isn't in the Majors since so many MLB teams are having early-season bullpen issues.

But alas, the seven-time All-Star closer is still without a team and it seems like he's bending a bit on his contract demands.

Kimbrel said he would be willing to accept a three-year pact, which is two years less than his initial ask, and that could be enough to entice a team with a glaring bullpen hole to sign the 30-year-old right-hander. At this point, he's a must-add in fantasy baseball, as we wait for him to finally agree to a deal.

Here are the four most likely landing spots for Kimbrel.

4. Philadelphia Phillies

Getty Images
Getty Images / Mitchell Leff

If the Philadelphia Phillies added Kimbrel, it could be the move that puts them over the top. Given the Phillies are already leading the NL East, Kimbrel and his career 1.91 ERA could distance them from the pack.

3. Milwaukee Brewers

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Getty Images / Dylan Buell

The Milwaukee Brewers have been floated as a potential destination for Kimbrel for months now. Since their former closer Corey Knebel underwent Tommy John surgery, it was a question of whether Josh Hader or recently-activated Jeremy Jeffress would be the answer in the ninth inning. Adding Kimbrel would give the Brew Crew one of the most lethal back ends to a bullpen in the bigs.

2. Chicago Cubs

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Getty Images / Michael Reaves

Pedro Strop has been solid as the Chicago Cubs' closer, but adding Kimbrel would shift everyone in the team's pen back an inning and further solidify what needs to be a strength if they're going to compete. While the Cubs' championship window continues to close, Kimbrel could be an addition similar to when they added Aroldis Chapman on their way to a World Series title in 2016.

1. Atlanta Braves

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Getty Images / Scott Cunningham

This one seems almost too perfect of a fit. Kimbrel spent the first five years of his MLB career with the Atlanta Braves and was drafted by the organization in 2008. With Arodys Vizcaíno now done for the season, Kimbrel would seamlessly go back into his role closing out games for the Braves, and he could be the missing piece that catapults them to be a true World Series contender.


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