Closer Craig Kimbrel is a luxury on the Braves. A top of the line ninth inning guy on a team which has already traded away Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Jason Heyward this offseason.
The Braves owe Kimbrel at-least $34 million though the 2018 season. He has led the league in saves four straight seasons but repeating that task in 2015 may be difficult as the Braves roster appears weaker than in previous seasons.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com says the Braves “do not have any desire to trade Kimbrel,” because “They remain optimistic about the upcoming season.”
Kimbrel would be a nice upgrade for just about anyone and could bring the Braves a list of prospects following a season in which he saved 47 saves posted a 1.61 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP.
This could also be posturing. The Braves could enter the season with Kimbrel on their roster if they cannot find a deal they like and then flip him at the trade deadline.