A center fielder by the name of Manuel Margot was traded to the San Diego Padres from the Boston Red Sox on Nov. 15, 2015 alongside Javier Guerra, Carlos Asuaje and Logan Allen in exchange for right-handed closer, Craig Kimbrel.
Kimbrel was brought in to try to fix a major crack in the closing role because at that time, there was a major void for consistency and dominance from now former Sox relievers, Junichi Tazawa, and Koji Uehara.
This trade did not necessarily provide the major boost the organization would be hoping for as Craig finished the 2016 season with a 3.40 ERA.
Obviously, that number doesn’t look great but it’s mainly from just three appearances that he saw more than two runs allowed, which as we all know, can really hurt a relief pitcher in the long-run.
But so-far during the 2017 year, Kimbrel has significantly improved and has made himself a legitimate roadblock for opposing batters.
To put this into perspective, right-handed batters are getting hits off him less that one out of every ten at-bats (0.098 to be exact).
Lefties aren’t having much more luck either as their combined batting average is just at .172.
Another crazy thing for you to think about before toughing on what the Padres got in this trade is at this point in time, Kimbrel has faced a total of 240 batters, and he has struck out 121 of them.
That’s slightly over 50 percent of batters faces he’s set down on strikes. If he can finish the season with that percent 50 or above, he would stand alone as the only player in the history of professional baseball to accomplish such a feat.
But this would be his second time to achieve that, as he did this back in his 2012 campaign, so it is nothing new to him.
The main pieces of the deal for San Diego was Manuel Margot. The youngster has been strongly providing for the Padres, but not like Kimbrel has provided for the Red Sox.
Margot is sitting at third place on the Padres roster for batting average at .271. The Dominican Republic native has also cranked 13 home runs and driven in 38 in what has been his first full season in the MLB.
If you look at Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr’s first MLB season, which was in 2014, you see Margot isn’t fairy too bad.
In 126 games, Bradley Jr. hit .198 with a home run and 30 runs batted in.
In the field, Margot has made just three errors, and his fielding percentage is at .988.
Now Margot is no Mookie Betts or Andrew Benintendi, yet, but given the Red Sox depth an need for a closer at the time, it was the right call.