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Padres hold on to closer Craig Kimbrel despite Astros' offer

The Padres are going to need their closer if they're seriously considering a run at the postseason.

Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Craig Kimbrel was acquired by the San Diego Padres just before the start of the 2015 season. After it appeared that his stay would be brief, the Padres decided not to move him after all. However, they came close. The Houston Astros "made a run" at Kimbrel, as well as Reds' Aroldis Chapman, and the Astros had a "couple of trade offers on the table to include Kimbrel," but nothing materialized.

Kimbrel garnered plenty of interest from several teams in the last couple of days, though, which included Yankees and Nationals in addition to the Astros. However, attempts to acquire the 27-year-old didn't pick up until early on Friday morning, when the Red Sox reportedly joined in as an interested party.

A four-time All-Star, Kimbrel spent the first five of his six-year career with the Braves before Atlanta traded him to San Diego, where he's spent the 2015 season as the team's closer. Kimbrel is owed $11 million in 2016 and $13 million in 2017, with a $13 million team option in 2018 that includes a $1 million buyout. He is eligible for free agency in 2018.

This season, Kimbrel has put together a solid season for a closer, though, compared to his previous seasons it's a down year. But if a 2.68 ERA and a WHIP that's 1.091 is down, there's not much to worry about. Kimbrel doesn't allow home runs that often and has a ridiculously high strikeout rate -- averaging 12.5 strikeouts per nine.

Kimbrel's hit rate is the highest of his career, at 6.5 per nine, and compared to his previous seasons it is elevated, but his track record in the last month suggests he is back to his lockdown self. He has faced the minimum in eight of his last 11 appearances, going back a month, and has faced more than four batters just twice.

During that time Kimbrel has a 0.79 ERA and is holding opposing batters to a miniscule .132, slugging the same. He's allowed just five hits. Kimbrel has blown only one save in 30 chances, and that happened way back on May 9 in a game the Padres went on to win anyway.

As it appears the Padres are set on making a run for the postseason, despite their fourth-place record in the NL West, they'll need Kimbrel in the bullpen as he's one of their only reliable pieces.