Amazing News: Craig Kimbrel should return to Braves according to MLB…

Craig Kimbrel should return to the Atlanta Braves for his bullpen, according to

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Naming his most preferred “player & team reunions” they’d love to see, writer Will Leitch wants the Braves to send off Kimbrel in an Atlanta uniform.

The Atlanta Braves have invested heavily in their bullpen this offseason.

Between signing Reynaldo López for three years/$30M, trading for Aaron Bummer from the Chicago White Sox & Jackson Kowar of the Kansas City Royals, and re-signing their own free agents Pierce Johnson and Joe Jiménez, the Braves are estimated to have almost $50M in salaries invested in the relief corps for 2024.

(And outside of those players, Atlanta’s also made depth signings of Jackson Stephens, Penn Murfee, and Grant Holmes to minor league deals.)

But there’s one more player out there that some think should join the group.

Will Leitch, writing for, posits in his “10 player-team reunions we’d love to see” piece that the Braves should consider adding former Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel to the back-end mix.

Kimbrel, who is from nearby Huntsville, AL and debuted with Atlanta in 2010, is a free agent after spending last season with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Regarding the addition of Kimbrel, Leitch writes:

The Braves drafted Kimbrel way back in 2007, and he joined the big league team three years later, winning the Rookie of the Year Award in ‘11 and leading the NL in saves for four straight seasons. When you close your eyes and think of Kimbrel, don’t you think of him as a Brave first? If he makes it into the Hall of Fame, it’s likely the team that’ll be on his plaque. Letting him say goodbye to the fans who first cheered for him would be an excellent way to (potentially) send him off to Cooperstown.

Kimbrel, 35, went 8-6 with a 3.26 ERA and 23 saves in 28 chances for the Phillies while making his 9th All-Star appearance (and first since 2020).

From a strictly baseball perspective, it doesn’t make sense

It’s an interesting idea, albeit one that feels like more nostalgia than need at this point. Kimbrel made $10M from Philadelphia on a one-year deal last season and reportedly is drawing interest for a closer job with the Kansas City Royals, amongst other teams.

While it’s be nice to “bring him home” and see Kimbrel (and that familiar lean) back in the Braves bullpen, Atlanta’s financial investment in their back end means he’d be working out of a medium-leverage role, at best, with Raisel Iglesias solidified as the closer and AJ Minter, Joe Jiménez, and Pierce Johnson all seemingly lined up for setup roles. Would he really be willing to pass up more money and a better job to be in Atlanta? Signing Kimbrel is ultimately a luxury the Braves probably doesn’t need to spend money on.

Would be nice, though.

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