September 30, 2022

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The Dodgers traded AJ Bullock for the White Sox for Craig Kimbrel

The Dodgers traded AJ Bullock for the White Sox for Craig Kimbrel

11:32 am: The two teams announced the trade.

11:11 am: The Dodgers and the White Sox agree on a player to send a trade AJ Bullock To Chicago in exchange for the Savior Craig KimbrelMLB.com’s Mark Finsand reports (Twitter link).

It’s a rather stunning movie featuring two high-profile and highly paid veterans. Bullock is earning $10 million this season and is worth at least $5 million for a $10 million player option for the 2023 season. Meanwhile, Kimbrel is set to earn $16 million next season after ChiSox chose the club’s 2022 option despite performance Weak after the trade that sent him from the north side in chicago to the south side last summer.

ESPN’s Jeff Bassan tweeted that there was no change in funds in the deal, meaning the Dodgers are actually adding an additional $1 million in financial commitments (assuming Bullock rejects his player option at $5 million net and tests free agency next winter). Dodgers will also see their luxury ledger go up a bit as a result of the trade. Bullock’s contract was a four-year deal worth $55 million, but counted as five years and $60 million for luxury tax purposes, where the player’s option at the end of the contract was considered money secured. Thus, the contract was a huge success worth $12 million. As Matt Gelb of The Athletic recently mentioned, the new CBA states that the actual dollar remaining on a trading contract will be counted toward the luxury tax. As such, Kimbrel would now represent a $16 million luxury hit for the Dodgers (instead of the $14.5 million he had represented under the previous rules).

Regardless of the financial component of the huge barter, the trade fulfills the need of both groups. The Bullpen Dodgers lacked the option to close late in the game, and Kimbrel regained his credibility as a dynamic ninth-inning choice for the first four months of the 2021 season while matches were closed for the Cubs. Will join now Blake TraininAnd the Daniel Hudson And little flamethrower Prosdar Graterol In the back of the Los Angeles Bullpen.

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For most of the 2021 season, Kimbrel looked back to his old form. In a 36 2/3 round with the Cubs, 33-year-old Ayman (34 in May) clocked 0.49 ERA while making 23 saves and 46.7% off his opponents against a 9.4% walking average. Kimbrel has deservedly made an All-Star team, and the $43 million three-year contract he signed in 2019 moved from an albatross to commercial assets in a matter of months. The White Sox, looking to push what was already a clear class winner on the hump, traded for the injured second baseman Nick Madrigal And the right hand Cody Heuer To the Cubs in the movie Crostown.

Kimbrel made a run in each of his first two Sox appearances, and although he swayed for three runs in his third round, it looked like a blip on the radar when he bounced back three point-free appearances afterward. However, right-hand struggles intensified in the coming weeks with reports that Kimbrel was uncomfortable displaying the ability to set up behind the closest Sox Liam Hendricks distinguish. Ultimately, Kimbrel posted an ugly 5.09 ERA in his regular season 23 frames with the Sox before being defeated for three more runs (two got) in the two ALDS rounds.

Whether Kimbrel’s struggles really relate to the role he was promoting or whether it’s a narrative-driven interpretation, Dodgers clearly feels confident he can return to the high level of performance he had with Cubs last year. If that was really the case, he lost recently Kenley Janssen To the Braves (for the same $16 million price tag) it will prove to be one of the scariest games in the sport.

Bullock’s trade also opens up playing time on the court for Chris Taylor, who was previously considered the team’s second mainstay. With Bullock and left-handed beating Matt Petty Now gone by trade – Betty went to the Padres earlier this week – there’s room for Taylor to take over as the long-standing key left and top potential player Gavin Lux For reps per day in second base. Of course, this assumes that there are no other add-ons for Dodgers. It’s at least noteworthy that Los Angeles replaced their left-handed player and had a strong right-handed line-up at the time the former All-Star player was. Michael Konforto And his left racket are still looking for a place to land.

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Meanwhile, the White Sox have yet to address a glaring gap in the right field, all off the season. The closest the Sox got to cementing a correct field position was the Phillies’ final trade. Adam HasleyHowever, Sox announced Haseley had been selected for Triple-A just minutes before today’s trading announcement. Bullock will now move directly into the field mix, giving the Sox a high-quality option to pair with the midfielder Louis Robert Fielder left Eloy Jimenez. Sox went most of the 2021 season with the first baseman Andrew Fon And the javen leaves They disguise themselves as outside players, so bringing Bullock into the fold will give them a real player — and a solid defensive one at that.

Bullock, who turned 34 this season, will turn up for the White Sox from .297/.355/.536 in 117/422 games with the Dodgers this past season. Typically a better hitter against the left than the right – although his career marks against right-handed bowlers are still well above average – Bullock posted a more split last season and was hugely effective on the board regardless of opponent’s hand use.

However, Bullock also spent more than a month on the list of sufferers with a pair of hamstring strains, one in each leg. It was the fourth time in the past five seasons – the shortened 2020 campaign being the only exception – that he’s spent at least a month on the shelf injured. Bullock has also lost time with an elbow fracture that cost him 150 games in 2016, a thigh strain (2017), a broken thumb (2018) and elbow surgery (2019) in recent years. Bullock played 157 games in his career in 2015, but has averaged just 88 games per season from 162 games since then. Notably, he played in 55 of the possible 60 matches during the shortened 2020 campaign, which should not be entirely overlooked when assessing questions about his durability.

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Even if Bullock didn’t waste time this year, the Sox have their share of packing options. veteran Adam Engel Chicago gives a talented right-handed batting defense who can play any of the three positions on the field. Neither Vaughn nor Sheets advanced well in terms of defense last year, but they at least got their feet wet on the field and could handle some corner work on a short-term basis. The aforementioned Haseley is an option that can be called up at any time and at least provides a high-quality defense and an acceptable right-handed bat. benefit Yuri GarciaIn the meantime, it is an option across the field or off the field. second base player Josh Harrison He has his share of experience in corners of the field, too.

As for the Chicago Bullpen, the team’s off-season dealings have helped build a solid relief team that looks great even without Kimbrel. Sox signed veteran right-wingers Kendall Grafman (Three years, $24 million) and Joe Kelly (2 years, $17 million) for multi-year deals this winter. Of course, Sox not only poses Kimbrel, but also poses free agent Ryan Tebera (Who went to the Angels in a two-year deal) And left-handed garret crochetannounced by General Motors Rick Han He is likely to undergo Tommy John’s surgery Just minutes after the Kimbrel/Bullock deal was announced. Hendrix, Graviman, Kelly and the left Aaron Bomer It still gives Sox a powerful endgame quad, but they’ll need some internal options to advance into the middle roles – assuming there aren’t any more external add-ons, of course.

Ultimately, the swap is a rare pure baseball trade, with teams exchanging a pair of veterans to satisfy a need on either side. It’s a mostly cash-neutral trade-off that gives the Sox a new player every day, the new Dodgers closer and paves the way for both veterans to play pivotal roles for their new teams – both during the regular season and very likely in the playoffs.