Should the Phils Replace Kimbrel?
The Philadelphia Phillies have a question mark in their bullpen as the MLB season is set to begin. With Craig Kimbrel still on the free-agent market, many are wondering if the Phillies really need to sign a replacement for the veteran closer.
Kimbrel has been one of the most dominant closers in the game over the past decade, recording over 370 career saves and a career ERA under 2.00. However, his performance over the past few seasons has been shaky, leading some to question whether he is still worth a big contract.
The Phillies, who are looking to contend in a competitive NL East, could certainly benefit from adding a proven closer to their bullpen. Last season, the team ranked in the bottom half of the league in bullpen ERA and blown saves, and adding a reliable arm like Kimbrel could be a huge boost for their chances in a tough division.
On the other hand, some argue that the Phillies already have a solid closer in Hector Neris, who recorded 26 saves and a 3.89 ERA last season. While Neris may not have the same track record as Kimbrel, he has shown the ability to handle the ninth inning and could potentially thrive with a more consistent role.
Additionally, the Phillies have some young arms in their bullpen who could step up and fill the closer role if necessary. Players like Connor Brogdon and Jose Alvarado have shown promise and could be given the opportunity to take on more high-leverage situations.
Ultimately, the decision on whether to sign Kimbrel comes down to the Phillies’ front office and their evaluation of the team’s needs. If they believe that adding an experienced closer like Kimbrel is the missing piece to their roster, they may be inclined to make a move. However, if they have faith in Neris and their young pitchers to get the job done, they may opt to allocate their resources elsewhere.
Regardless of their decision, the Phillies will need a strong bullpen in order to compete in the NL East. Whether that means signing Kimbrel or relying on internal options remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: the bullpen will be a key area to watch as the season unfolds.