Hart says he will not trade Kimbrel
Now that the Braves have traded Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Evan Gattis, some fans and media members have opined that they should now move Craig Kimbrel. Those who hold this opinion, question why a club would choose to keep the elite closer when it appears they are destined to struggle over the next couple of seasons.
While Braves president of baseball operations John Hart acknowledges that he has focused on improving the club’s long-term future with the flurry of moves he has made this winter, he remains optimistic that his team will be competitive this upcoming season. Thus, it was not surprising when he shot down the notion of moving Kimbrel when asked on Thursday morning.
“We love our core group,” Hart said. “We have added quality players around this group to allow us to compete while strengthening the farm system. We’ve added (Nick) Markakis, (Jason) Grilli, (Jim) Johnson, A.J. (Pierzynski) and others to help us compete this year. We have never entertained trading (Kimbrel) and have had zero conversations with any clubs about Craig. I want him finishing out a World Series win.”
Even if the Braves struggle this upcoming season, they believe some of the prospects they’ve acquired this winter could begin providing value as early as the 2016 season.
Kimbrel is signed through the 2017 season and has a $13 million option for 2018.