Report: Craig Kimbrel “safe” from potential Atlanta Braves fire sale


The Atlanta Braves made a splash on Monday, for better or worse, but one interesting detail emerged from the wreckage of the Jason HeywardShelby Miller trade. Zach Klein of WSB TV in Atlanta reports that Craig Kimbrel is “safe” from any inclusion in a potential fire sale by the team.

To be honest, this makes no sense. The decision to trade Heyward for more cost control and the long-term investment in Miller can be spun in a few directions, but if a long-term rebuild is in the cards for the Braves, the decision to keep Craig Kimbrel around at all costs flies in the face of that.

Kimbrel, who is now 26 years old, has been the best relief pitcher in all of baseball over the past four-plus seasons, and there is no denying the validity of that statement. However, his fire-balling nature would appear to be prone to injury concerns, and if there is anything to be learned from tales of Jonny Venters and various other relief pitchers across baseball, it is that the role is exceptionally volatile.

No “closer” should be immune from a trade (with the exception of Mariano Rivera, I suppose), and with Kimbrel’s salary escalating rapidly, the Atlanta Braves should almost certainly explore moving him. There is an argument to be made for having the best player at his position in baseball, but trading away a top-10 outfielder in the league displays that John Hart is arguing with himself.