May 8, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
#1. RHP Craig Kimbrel
Oh yes, the hard-throwing closer may have his time in San Diego cut short as the San Diego experiment did not go as planned this year. Craig Kimbrel is mean. Craig Kimbrel is nasty. And most importantly, Craig Kimbrel is flat good. Often referred to as the best closer in the MLB, Kimbrel is having his worst year in the league, yet still posts a 2.76 ERA with 31 saves in 33 save opportunities. In his 6-year career, he already has 217 saves, which is 41st in MLB history.
Again, the biggest obstacle for the Padres-Giants negotiations are whether or not Padres GM A.J. Preller will trade within the division. It is worth noting that the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Padres completed a blockbuster trade that sent Matt Kemp southbound on the I-5 to San Diego and Yasmani Grandal northbound to Los Angeles this past offseason. So, it has happened before.
For much of the same reasons as Chapman, San Francisco needs a bullpen arm to complete their quest for a championship, and Kimbrel would be the ideal man for the job. I will be honest with you when I say I don’t see the Padres trading within their division again after seeing Grandal make them pay for their mistake. However, whether they make a deal happen or not, I believe that a top-notch arm in the pen, such as Kimbrel or Chapman, will cement their name into the playoffs. In fact, I truly believe getting Chapman or Kimbrel will send them back to the 2015 World Series. And we all know what happens when San Francisco makes the postseason (won the World Series every year they reached the post season since 2010).
All in all, although bench depth is another target for San Francisco, the Giants need a bullpen arm, preferably a shut-down closer. If the front-office decides to make a move during the waiver period, they must go after Chapman or Kimbrel. If not, the pitching staff will have a hard time making it to the postseason.