Three free agents Oakland A’s should sign but won’t spend money on
By David Hill
This is a bit of extrapolation. Craig Kimbrel is theoretically under contract for 2022, but given his struggles with the White Sox after the trade deadline, it would not be a surprise if Chicago were to decline his option.
If he does hit the open market, Kimbrel could be the missing piece in the Oakland A’s bullpen. While Lou Trivino did an generally solid job in his first season in the closer role, he also receives a portion of the blame for the A’s missing the playoffs. His two week implosion left the team in a difficult spot, especially as they did not have a viable backup option for the ninth inning.
Kimbrel would solve numerous issues. Not only is he a Proven Closer(tm), but he would allow the rest of the bullpen to slot into roles where they may be better suited. Trivino could be an excellent option as the primary setup man while getting occasional saves when Kimbrel would need a night off.
Considering the amount of work that the bullpen needs, and the A’s hopes for the upcoming year, adding Kimbrel would be a great start. They could find the setup men they need, potentially even giving internal candidates a chance to prove themselves. It all begins with the ninth inning, and once that is solidified, the rest of the bullpen can fall into place.
But this is all a pipe dream. The Oakland A’s are as likely to open the checkbook and actually spend in free agency as my being named their Opening Day starter.