Braves not interested in dealing Kimbrel
The Braves have reconstructed their roster this offseason through a number of trades and free-agent signings, but the club has no desire to deal closer Craig Kimbrel, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
Kimbrel, 26, is arguably the best closer in the game and could bring back a solid return, but it appears Atlanta has no interest at this point in making a move with the right-hander. He’s a four-time All-Star who has led the National League in saves in each of the last four seasons. Kimbrel is signed through the 2017 season and has a $13 million option for 2018.
This offseason, the Braves have already traded Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, and Evan Gattis. On this surface, it appears the Braves are rebuilding. But the organization’s public stance is that it can still compete this season and next.
“We love our core group,” Braves president of baseball operations John Hart told Bowman on Thursday morning. “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.”
— Austin Laymance