The Chicago White Sox have traded closer Craig Kimbrel to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for outfielder A.J. Pollock. This comes at time when Fantasy Baseball drafts are ramping up as the MLB season is set to throw out its first pitch on April 7th.
Kimbrel had an ADP of 191 in 12 team NFBC leagues in the month of March. Pollock was going right around pick 217.
He was traded from Boston to San Diego in 2015 and then shipped up to Boston later that year. He hit free agency in 2018 when he signed with the Chicago Cubs in 2018 and was later traded across town to the White Sox last July.
I'm pretty sure Kimbrel has been in as many trades as the band Kiss has had farewell tours.
Let's dive in and analyze the Fantasy Baseball impact as Kimbrel continues his "Trades Across America" tour.
Craig Kimbrel Traded to Los Angeles Dodgers
As the season gets closer and closer, if you want to get an edge, I would check out the FantasyPros Draft Wizard.
Kimbrel's Impact On The Dodgers
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The departure of Kenley Jansen did cloud the Dodgers' bullpen usage for this season, but Kimbrel is a bright light that clears it all up. It's safe to say that Kimbrel will get Jansen's workload and could even post better numbers than Jansen has in recent years.
Now let's talk about the guy affected the most by this trade, Blake Treinen. In the month of March, Treinen's 12 team NFBC ADP was 130. We assumed that he would at least get the majority of the saves, but Kimbrel's arrival diminishes Treinen's Fantasy value.
At this point in time, he is undraftable unless you are playing in holds-and-saves leagues. Treinen will get his wish of pitching in the high leverage setup innings this season.
This trade affects one more Dodger too - Gavin Lux. Pollock's departure opens up more playing time for Lux, and he is a former high-valued prospect who now has a more consistent role in a high-power offense. Definitely, a name to store in the back of your mind during the upcoming drafts this weekend.
White Sox Bullpen
Not much is going to change the White Sox's bullpen. Liam Hendriks is still the closer. Even when Kimbrel was there, he wasn't a real threat to Hendriks's workload. The only change is that Kendall Graveman is bumped up to a setup role, and Aaron Bummer still keeps his fireman role.
Pollock's Impact in the White Sox Lineup
Pollock's value doesn't change in Chicago; he will have consistent playing time and hit near the bottom of the lineup in one of the league's best offenses. Now Andrew Vaughn's Fantasy potential has been smashed like watermelon at a Gallagher show.
Vaughan's value took a hit with his recent hip injury, but now that Pollock is in town, it's going to be hard for Vaughn to find consistent at-bats once he returns. He better hope that Gavin Sheets is awful as the Sox's designated hitter (that or La Russa continues his hatred of the youth) because that might be the only spot where Vaughan can sneak a few more at-bats this season.
This trade makes Kimbrel a possible top-5 closer, Gavin Lux a sneaky value pick, and ruins Andrew Vaughn's Fantasy value this season (can you tell I have a few shares of Andrew Vaughn?).
Trying to keep up with all the changes in every team's bullpen is maddening. Well, check out Fantasy Six Pack's closer chart to help keep you sane this season!
Good luck to those of you who still have to draft between now and opening day. Make sure you check out the F6P 2022 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit!