White Sox open to trade reliever Craig Kimbrel


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White Sox open to trade reliever Craig Kimbrel

CARLSBAD, Calif. – The Chicago White Sox are open to transferring reliever Craig Kimbrel days after exercising his $ 16 million contract option for 2022.

“We see him as a potentially impactful reliever as he has been for the vast majority of his career,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Tuesday on the first day of General Manager meetings in Southern California. . “We are not alone in that opinion.

“What we have to find out is whether it makes more sense to have Craig in the White Sox uniform in the future or if there is a better use of that place and of him perhaps through a trade.”

The 33-year-old Kimbrel ranks ninth all-time with 372 career saves, but was asked to pitch in the eighth inning for the White Sox after he was acquired in a midseason trade with the Chicago. Cubs. The move flopped when Kimbrel’s ERA soared from 0.49 with the Cubs to 5.09 with the White Sox.

“It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to last year, so maybe there’s a better use of his skills than how we were doing it,” Hahn said. “So we have to reconsider its use with us in the face of a potential exchange.”

The White Sox had a stellar closer in Liam Hendriks when they traded injured second baseman Nick Madrigal along with reliever Codi Heuer for Kimbrel in late July. At the time, Kimbrel said he had no trouble pitching in the eighth inning and blamed his problems on mechanical problems.

Hahn said Kimbrel continues to express a desire to do what is best for the team. However, his return to the White Sox is in doubt and it is more than likely that he will pitch again in the ninth inning for another team in 2022.

“He’s already gone,” a rival executive said Tuesday.

Hahn admitted that Kimbrel’s performance was not great, but said he has no regrets about the decision to change him. The White Sox top brass decided he was the best reliever on the market and went looking for him.

“I don’t know if we’re ever going to have an exact answer why it didn’t work for those eight weeks, but certainly if we’re going to include him in our plans for the future, we have to find a way to maximize his abilities,” he said. “It’s easy to look at the results and work backwards to get an explanation and say, ‘Well, the role was not what he was used to, so it must be the role.’ He approached it in the same way that he would approach opportunities. as closer “.

If, by any chance, the White Sox don’t trade him, Hahn is confident that the White Sox will land a player who is first on the team in whatever role they assign him.

“I’ve had multiple conversations with him since the season ended,” Hahn said. “He wants to win.”


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