Continuing this topic of who the Dodgers don’t need, I decided to focus on this weeks hot topic player: Craig Kimbrel. The Dodgers are only 7 games into the regular season and currently have a record of 5-2. Both of those losses have come via the Dodgers bullpen and not the starting rotation. At the forefront of those 2 losses is newly acquired free agent, Joe Kelly.
Joe Kelly, a native of Southern California and the Inland Empire, signed a 3-year, $27 million deal with the Dodgers this past offseason. When the announcement was made, I was completely thrilled and excited that the Dodgers would be getting a lights out reliever to back up Kenley Jansen. Kelly was one of the most effective pitchers in the 2018 playoffs and World Series for the Boston Red Sox.
Come regular season with the Dodgers, Kelly has already left a sour taste in most fans mouths. He’s blown a few leads in the games that he has pitched but I don’t think he is as bad as Dodger fans are claiming he is. Again, he already has a bad image in the eyes of Dodgers fans because (A) He broke Hanley Ramirez’s ribs in the 2013 NLCS and (B) He dominated the Dodgers in the World Series last year. Personally, I could care less about all of that. He’s a Dodger now and is competing for a championship. I believe that Kelly will flip the switch and find his groove down the stretch and into the playoffs.
Since Kelly has struggled, this has brought out all of the Instagram General Managers to criticize why Kelly was a bad move. Their solution: sign Craig Kimbrel.
Craig Kimbrel is currently a free agent and hasn’t had any reported momentum with any teams so far. Thats because of his asking price. Kimbrel is looking for a 4 or 5 year deal worth $80-100 million. He is definitely in the tops 5 for closers in all of MLB but for some reason, no team is set on giving him the deal he wants. Comparable closers, Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen, both got 5 years at around $90 million but that was a few years ago. Assuming that Kimbrel eventually gets the contract he wants, it surely will not be with the Dodgers.
The argument for adding Kimbrel to the bullpen is, “Imagine a Kimbrel 8th inning and a Jansen 9th inning”. I can imagine it…on the All Star team and only the All Star team. You just can’t have two guys in the bullpen making roughly $20 million a piece. Hypothetically adding Kimbrel is great but that is just a lofty dream that won’t come true.
Craig Kimbrel is going to get his money at some point during this season but it will not be with the Los Angeles Dodgers.