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The Red Sox have acquired Craig Kimbrel, and in the process Dave Dombrowski has addressed two of the narratives that surrounded him when he joined the Red Sox last summer. He’s become known for being someone who can put together a great team with a shoddy bullpen, but silenced those fears by grabbing one of the elite relievers in the game. Among Boston’s greatest weaknesses was their bullpen, and while they were rumored to be potential suitors for Darren O’Day or Aroldis Chapman, they came away with Kimbrel. It’s true that they gave away quite a bit of minor-league talent — Dombrowski’s propensity to trade prospects was the other narrative — but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad deal. Even after unloading all that talent, they still have Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers, Anderson Espinoza and Andrew Benintendi in their system.
San Diego, meanwhile, appear to be reloading their farm system after gutting it in last winter’s extravaganza. A.J. Preller got quite the haul for his star closer, bringing in Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, Logan Allen and Carlos Asuaje. Margot is a potential five-tool center fielder with plus defensive and base running skills who has experience in Double-A. Guerra is a plus defensive shortstop with big-time power potential who took a big leap forward in Low-A this past year. Both are projected to be around top-50 prospects this winter. Allen, meanwhile, was an eighth-round pick in the 2015 draft who signed a large bonus out of high school, and Asuaje is an interesting future utility player.
The rest of the offseason figures to be interesting for both teams. As mentioned above, the Red Sox have elite talent left in their farm system that can be used to address the massive hole atop their rotation. However, they can also keep those prospects and pay for an ace in free agency. The Padres now have to decide whether or not they want to go for it again this year, or try to cash in Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner and go full rebuild. Either way, it’s not even Thanksgiving and the Hot Stove is already burning up. It’s setting up to be a fun winter.
- As of yesterday, all of the qualifying offer decisions have been made. Most players rejected it of course, but for the first time ever someone accepted. Specifically, three players did. Colby Ramus, Matt Wieters, and Brett Anderson will all be returning to their old teams.
- Marco Estrada fell in a bit of a gray area, as he agreed to a two-year extension with the Blue Jays before having to make an official decision on his qualifying offer.
- The Braves made the first big trade of the winter, sending Andrelton Simmons to the Angels. The move signified Atlanta going all-in on their future.
- For their part, Los Angeles gave up quite a bit in exchange for the star defensive shortstop, but everything will be okay for them.
- The Giants need to keep their even year streak going, and are looking hard at two of the top free agents of this class.
- With these moves being rumored, it would make sense to see how much money they have to spend.
- Not to be outdone, the Cardinals need to remind everyone they are still a force. Should they go after Ben Zobrist?
- The Cubs have put together a young offensive core that is the envy of the league. It still makes sense to spend big money of Jason Heyward.
- As the Royals look to defend their title, which free agents should they avoid?
- Which fan bases enjoyed the 2015 season, and which ones would rather never speak of this year again?