Baseball deals are sometimes like fine wine and take years to get results. This is the Craig Kimbrel trade at the three-year mark.
Dave Dombrowski has made several significant trades in his tenure as President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox. The actions of “Dealin’ Dave” are from headline-grabbing such as this one to less significant, but important deals that added an Ian Kinsler and Steve Pearce. Just how have the players shipped out done? What are their projections and the projections for those we received?
The expectations for Red Sox fans is rather high with success being a World Championship. Getting there is simply not enough after a great expenditure of treasure by Dombrowski and that is his modus operandi with treasure being farm system players. From my perspective, each and every transaction was reasonably thought out, but that now has the microscope of time placed into the evaluation.
Logan Allen may eventually be the most important piece from the Craig Kimbrel trade with the Padres. Allen – a 21-year-old lefty – has advanced rapidly in the Padres system and made five late-season starts with El Paso (AAA) going 4-0 with a 1.63 ERA.
He’s aggressive with his fastball location, too, with a willingness to attack right-handed hitters on the inner half of the plate. A changeup and a curveball comprise Allen’s secondary arsenal. The former is well ahead of the latter, at times flashing plus, though his breaking ball stands to improve once he learns to better repeat his release point.- MLB Prospect Watch
Carlos Asuaje has been with the Padres for three seasons and the 27-year-old left-hand hitting infielder spend the bulk of his playing time at second base. Asuaje has hit .240 in 175 games with the Padres.
Javy Guerra is a 23-year-old lefty hitting shortstop who also surfaced with the Padres this season hitting .071 in just 11 games. Guerra’s weak bat was also on display with El Paso hitting just .223. Guerra is not on the Padres top 30 list.
Defensively 24-year-old Manuel Margot is an excellent center fielder whose bat may not generate power and this season Margot has a .241 average. Not a great sign of upward hitting mobility. In 2017 Margot hit .263 and his combined 20 home runs in two seasons show the lack of power. Margot appears to have stalled in his development and has just a 0.3 fWAR this season.
Kimbrel has performed as advertised as one of the best closers in baseball. The power tossing 30-year old has accumulated 108 saves in his three Boston seasons. The reality is that “Dirty Craig” has been noted to likely decline the Red Sox Qualifying Offer and explore the open market. Kimbrel has expressed a desire to stay in Boston, but may seek an Aroldis Chapman type contract (5/86) to stay.
Kimbrel may, or may not, stay as that will be more fodder for the offseason, but if he chooses to look elsewhere Kimbrel has still been part of a World Series team despite his shaky contributions. The Red Sox are certainly satisfied with their investment yielding a world championship, but there still may be thoughts about Logan Allen in the future as the one that got away.