Craig Kimbrel has had a sensational career, one that already includes a World Series ring.
With the Phillies, he saw the opportunity for another.
The veteran closer signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Phillies this offseason, reuniting him with Dave Dombrowski – the Phillies president who traded for Kimbrel ahead of the 2016 season while running the Red Sox.
For essentially his entire career, Kimbrel has been closing out games. But the Phillies have a manager who tends to play matchups more than locking guys into specific roles -- and with plenty of electric arms in the bullpen, it’s far from a sure thing that the ninth inning will belong to Kimbrel.
Surely, the 34-year-old could have had more certain opportunities to close elsewhere. But in an appearance on the 94WIP Morning Show with Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie, Kimbrel explained what drew him to Philly.
"Well, obviously the opportunity to win," Kimbrel said. "I saw what the team did towards the end of last year. The atmosphere of the ballpark, the atmosphere of the guys in the dugout, how much fun they were having. At this point in my career, I’m just looking to come have some fun, win some ballgames and win a championship. That had a lot to do with why I wanted to come here."
Last season, Kimbrel earned 22 saves with the Dodgers, appearing in 63 games and logging 60 innings. The Phillies got 12 saves out of Corey Knebel, which led the team, with Seranthony Dominguez (nine), David Robertson (six) and Brad Hand (five) all earning at least five saves. Of those four, only Dominguez remains with the Phillies.
LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy Sports
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram