Chicago White Sox reliever Craig Kimbrel would bring a big name to the Colorado Rockies bullpen
Reportedly, the Chicago White Sox were shopping reliever Craig Kimbrel on the trade market before the lockout was put in place so once the lockout ends, the White Sox will likely still try to get rid of Kimbrel and the Colorado Rockies obviously need some help in the bullpen department.
That’s part of the reason why we talked about Kimbrel as an option for the Rockies back in October.
Kimbrel, despite being the active MLB leader in saves at 372, was a setup man for the White Sox when they acquired them from their crosstown rival, the Chicago Cubs, at the trade deadline. He was the closer for the Cubs and he was phenomenal (0.49 ERA, 1.10 FIP, 0.709 WHIP, nearly 16 K/9, 3.2 BB/9) but with the White Sox, he was the complete opposite.
He pitched to a 5.09 ERA in 24 games with the Sox with a FIP of 4.56, and a WHIP of 1.217.
For the Rockies, the main two issues with Kimbrel would be that he is owed $16 million next season. The Rockies would want some relief on that salary. Secondly, as Rockies fans know, pitchers with high groundball rates pitch better at Coors Field and pitchers that don’t tend to struggle more at altitude. Kimbrel has had a groundball rate of no higher than 33.3 percent in any of the last four seasons.
However, the Rockies need a closer and he could do just that and if Kimbrel is striking out 14-16 batters per nine innings (he was at 16.4 K/9 in 2020, 15.1 K/9 in 2021, and his career average is 14.7 K/9), then you don’t need to have a ton of groundballs.