It’s been an arms race in the NL West this winter between new front offices in Los Angeles and San Diego.
The Dodgers and Padres were two of the busiest teams this winter, making moves to improve their teams and even making a deal between the two. New Padres general manager A.J. Preller has been hard at work trying to improve the third place finishing Padres. With one day before the two teams square off on Opening Day, the Padres made another move.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Padres have acquired one of the top closers in basebal:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 5, 2015
Along with Craig Kimbrel, the Padres also receive left fielder Justin Upton’s older brother, Melvin Upton, Jr (formerly B.J. Upton). Kimbrel has racked up 97 saves in the past two seasons to go along with a 1.40 ERA. He has been one of the most dominant closers since he took over the job in 2011.
The Padres revamped their outfield this winter with Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers, leaving Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin in jeopardy of making the roster. They turned their crowded situation into a formidable closer and another backup outfielder. As for the Braves, they were in sell mode this winter in order to build their team for the new stadium coming in 2017. They traded away both Uptons, Evan Gattis among others.
While this move doesn’t guarantee anything for the Padres, it gives them another piece to compete with the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Scott Van Slyke