It may have seemed like the offseason signings for the Phillies had winded down, but they got another deal done just before Christmas.
The Phils reached a one-year, $10 million contract with free-agent reliever Craig Kimbrel. The deal was first reported by The Athletic.
Kimbrel was the best free-agent reliever still available.
He is coming off of an up-and-down season with the Los Angeles Dodgers where he saved 22 games with a 3.75 ERA, however, he lost the job late in the season as his strikeout rates were meager.
Kimbrel has basically rotated dominant seasons with below-average seasons every year since 2018. A common issue in his below-average seasons has been a lack of control. But when he is on, he can be one of baseball’s best relievers when he’s on.
This is the second time Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has signed Kimbrel. He was the Red Sox president of baseball operations when they traded for Kimbrel in November 2015, just three months after he was hired. Dombrowski was in charge when Boston won it all in 2018, with Kimbrel on the squad.
The Phillies needed to replace David Robertson, who signed with the New York Mets, and another high-leverage bullpen arm. And got one with Kimbrel. Now, all we can hope is we are getting that Hall of Fame, dominant Kimbrel. He will join Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado at the back end of the bullpen.
One final note, we can not forget this iconic Philadelphia sports fans moment with Kimbrel: