White Sox Trade Closer Craig Kimbrel to the Dodgers for OF AJ Pollock

Craig Kimbrel with the Cubs
Craig Kimbrel with the Cubs in 2019. Photo by Nicholas T Loverde/CSM/Shutterstock (10328032bd)

The Chicago White Sox finally managed to move veteran closer Craig Kimbler. On Friday, the White Sox announced a trade that will see Kimbler heading to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for outfielder AJ Pollock.

The White Sox acquired Kimbler from the Cubs midway through the 2021 MLB season intending to use him in the eighth inning. However, the role proved to be a bad fit for the 33-year-old All-Star and failed to make the kind of impact Chicago hoped for. Using him as a closer, which is his natural role, was not an option due to the presence of star righty Liam Hendriks.

In November, the White Sox picked up Kimbler’s $16 million option for 2022, but the front office publicly admitted the move was made to find a trade partner. In the end, the Dodgers made the call, and both franchises have reasons to feel good about the deal.

The LA team had an interest in getting Kimbler, who has 371 saves and a 2.24 ERA as a closer in MLB, while he was with the Cubs but decided not to pull the trigger since they already had Kenley Jansen at the position. Now, Jansen’s presence won’t be the issue as the 34-year-old player left the Dodgers in free agency to sign with the Atlanta Braves.

On the other hand, the White Sox move Kimbler’s salary off their payroll while getting a player that they can actually use. Pollock, who was an All-Star in 2015, is expected to do most of his work in the right field in 2022.

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