BOSTON (CBS) — The MLB trade deadline is Friday. Nobody knows what the first-place Boston Red Sox and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom will or will not do.
One name that’s come up as a trade possibility around the league, though, is former Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel. With Kimbrel’s Cubs in fourth place in the NL Central, 8.5 games out of the second wild card spot, the All-Star closer figures to be on the move before Friday.READ MORE: Mass. Extends School Mask Mandate To Nov. 1; Middle And High Schools 80-Percent Vaccinated Can Opt Out In October
Whether the Red Sox would actually spend assets to acquire Kimbrel is unclear. Boston’s bullpen is certainly a team strength, and the Red Sox already have an All-Star closer in Matt Barnes.
But when asked this week about the possibility of the Red Sox adding Kimbrel, Barnes showed no hesitancy in deferring the ninth inning to his former teammate, if such a situation does arise.
“Selfishly, would I love to still be the closer? Absolutely. But if I go back to throwing the eighth because the guy throwing the ninth is Craig Kimbrel, I’m totally fine with it. I would welcome him with open arms,” Barnes told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. “He’d make our bullpen deeper. He’d make our team better. It’s about winning as many ballgames as possible and bringing home championships. Obviously I would love to have him. He’s a great person and he’s an absolute stud on the field.”READ MORE: Bob Dylan Coming To Boston For One Show In November
Barnes has recorded 22 saves for Boston this year, his first as the full-time closer. He has a 2.36 ERA and an 0.833 WHIP, and he’s posted a 5.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
That performance earned Barnes his first All-Star selection.
But Kimbrel has been operating on a whole other level. In 39 appearances, he has a 0.49 ERA and a 0.709 WHIP, with 23 saves. He’s allowed just two earned runs all year.MORE NEWS: Dozens Of Massachusetts State Police Troopers Resigning Over COVID Vaccine Mandate, Union Says
Obviously, an addition like Kimbrel’s would add to a strength on Boston’s roster, rather than addressing a weakness. But if Bloom does opt to go in that direction, he now at least knows that there will not be a clash of personalities in the clubhouse.