Craig Kimbrel, once mocked mercilessly by the Philadelphia faithful for his unusual mound stance, turned those taunts around to cheers with the stroke of a pen. The 34-year old was formerly a member of division rival Atlanta and has also pitched for San Diego, Boston, both Chicago teams and spent last season with the Dodgers.
Known for being a durable right arm out of the bullpen, Kimbrel appeared in 63 games with LA last season and saved 22 games with a 3.75 ERA. In his 13-year career, Kimbrel is baseball’s active saves leader with 394. His career high in saves is 50, set in 2013 with the Braves during a four season stretch where he 185 saves. Over an eight season stretch, he appeared in seven all-star games and after a two-year absence, returned to the classic in 2021.
The Phillies signed Kimbrel as a free agent to a one-year deal thought to be worth $10-million. He will become a part of the back end of yet another bullpen rebuild. The Phillies have lost relievers Brad Hand, Corey Knebel, and David Robertson to free agency. They also lost pitcher Zach Eflin, who worked as both a starter and reliever for the ’22 Phillies.
To make room for Kimbrel, pitcher Francisco Morales was designated for assignment clearing a spot on the 40-man roster.