Atlanta should shop Kimbrel

Braves could get a lot more for their closer than he's worth in a new deal

Updated: November 19, 2013, 12:49 PM ET
By Dan Szymborski | ESPN Insider

Craig KimbrelKevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesCraig Kimbrel is one of the best closers in baseball, and his value might never be higher.

The 2013 Atlanta Braves won 96 games, winning the NL East by a comfortable margin, and one of the reasons they flirted with the century mark was their 25-year-old closer, Craig Kimbrel.

Since coming up during the 2010 season, Kimbrel has been the pitcher that hitters have least desired to face, striking out an otherworldly 15.1 batters per nine innings. Kimbrel's career line -- 15-7 with a 1.39 ERA, with 381 strikeouts in 227 1/3 innings -- looks like what a starting pitcher would put up in the best season we've ever seen.

By any measure, from traditional statistics to sabermetric statistics to simply watching Kimbrel humiliate a batter to end the game, this man is an amazing pitcher.

This is also why Kimbrel should be wearing another uniform when baseball resumes next spring.