The San Diego Padres have had one of the most exciting offseasons in baseball. Their work was not finished just yet as they made one more blockbuster trade just before Opening Day.
Carlos Carrasco extension – Cleveland Indians sign starting pitcher to three-year contract extension
Corey Kluber extension – Indians sign Cy Young winner to five-year contract extension
Yordano Ventura extension – Kansas City Royals sign starting pitcher to five-year, $23 million contract extension
The Padres have acquired closer Craig Kimbrel in a trade with the Atlanta Braves, who managed to get rid of outfielder Melvin Upton in the trade.
Outfielders Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin will be traded to the Braves along with minor leaguers Matt Wisler and Jordan Paroubeck plus the 41st overall pick in the upcoming draft.
The Padres had previously traded for outfielders Matt Kemp and Wil Myers while signing starting pitcher James Shields.
Upton will reunite with his brother, Justin, in San Diego as the Padres upgraded their bullpen. Kimbrel is the best closer in baseball and has many prime years ahead of him.
His career has gotten off to an incredible start as he has registered 185 saves with a 1.43 earned run average and 476 strikeouts in 289 innings.
In all four years as the Braves’ closer, Kimbrel made the National League All-Star team and placed in the top 10 in NL Cy Young voting while winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2011.
This was a far cry from his 28-homer season in his final year with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Padres will have to take on the remaining $46 million of his contract.
The trade gives them an improved bullpen though as they will get Kimbrel in his prime while Joaquin Benoit can move back to his natural role as a setup man.