Boston Red Sox: Top 10 trade value player rankings

Aug 20, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi (left) center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (center) and right fielder Mookie Betts (right) celebrate after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Red Sox win 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 20, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi (left) center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (center) and right fielder Mookie Betts (right) celebrate after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Red Sox win 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) prepares to deliver a pitch in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game three of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) prepares to deliver a pitch in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game three of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /

Craig Kimbrel

Age: 28
Contract Status: $13.25 million in 2017 ($13 million team option in 2018)

We have an idea of what Kimbrel can bring back in a trade given the steep price Boston paid to acquire him last winter from the San Diego Padres – a package headlined by Manuel Margot, who currently ranks as the No. 26 prospect on MLB.com’s list.

Kimbrel is now a year closer to free agency and coming off of a season in which he posted a 3.40 ERA that stands as the highest of his career, so he’s unlikely to fetch that kind of return if the Red Sox were to shop him now.

However, the game is trending toward putting significant value on elite relievers given how dominant they have been in recent postseasons. There are a number of top closers on the market this winter that are going to get paid more than enough to make Kimbrel look like a relative bargain by comparison.

Kimbrel still posted one of the top strikeout rates in baseball and remains dominant in the comfort zone of a save situation, where he converted 31 of 33 opportunities.

Contending teams always want the security blanket of a “proven closer” to handle the coveted ninth inning role, so any team looking to fill that void would be enticed by Kimbrel given his track record as one of the elite closers in the game.