It’s time to discuss the Craig Kimbrel Alternatives for the Minnesota Twins.
Kimbrel deal with #Cubs will be three years and close to $45M, sources tell The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 6, 2019
Craig Kimbrel Alternatives
It was reported back in March that the Twins offered Kimbrel a similar deal. Given the previous offer, the deal Kimbrel received from the Cubs wouldn’t have been more than the Twins were willing to offer unless they had a change of heart or the previous report was false.
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There are a few reasons the Twins may have simply passed at this time. First, the Twins bullpen has been better than expected which may mean they are no longer willing to spend $45 million over three years on it. Second, Craig Kimbrel will likely require a month or more in the minors to get ready to pitch with the long layoff. Third, there may be players they covet more in the trade market that could come in at a lower salary and only cost the Twins a top 25 or so prospect.
Here are a few names to watch for in the trade market to bolster the Twins bullpen:
- Will Smith, RHP, San Fransisco Giants
- Ken Giles, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
- Blake Treinen, RHP, Oakland A’s
All three of these guys are potentially better players than Craig Kimbrel if the trends continue with all four players. All three of the players listed about would come in at less than half the price that Kimbrel will be paid for the remaining portion of 2019. They also are all on the last year of their contracts so the Twins could work a deal to extend the contract and still come in at a lower price.
The significant cost with these trades is that all three will demand a top 15 prospect from the Twins minor league system. Statistically, Smith and Giles at this time appear to be better players than Kimbrel was the last time we saw him. It will be interesting to see if the Twins are in on the trade frenzy that is coming soon since they may also be looking to add to the starting rotation.