Craig Kimbrel

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Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel to undergo knee surgery; out 3-6 weeks


BOSTON — Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was already looking to shore up his beleaguered bullpen when closer Craig Kimbrel was hurt shagging flyballs.

Suddenly, Dombrowski had another big hole to fill.

And he did.

The Red Sox acquired Arizona closer Brad Ziegler early Saturday, hours after learning Kimbrel would likely be sidelined for three-to-six weeks with an injured left knee. He was hurt during BP before Friday’s win over Tampa Bay.

“I took a step for a groundball, heard a pop and didn’t really think it was anything serious,” Kimbrel said in the dugout about 75 minutes before Boston’s game against Tampa Bay.

Kimbrel is expected to have surgery Monday for a medial meniscus tear.

“It’s something we’ve been looking to do, try to add to our bullpen for an extended period,” Dombrowski said. “We went back and forth numerous times, then finally agreed to the deal, really right toward the end of (our) game, during the game.”

Kimbrel is 1-3 with a 3.55 ERA and 17 saves in 19 chances.

“I think that’s the one thing Dave has proven over the course of his career, the proactive-ness or recognizing what our current needs are and being able to anticipate what we’ll need when we go forward,” Boston manager John Farrell said before Boston’s game against the Rays.

Boston acquired Ziegler for two minor leaguers. The 36-year-old right-hander was 2-3 with a 2.82 ERA and 18 saves in 20 opportunities for the Diamondbacks.

Farrell said Ziegler would share the closing duties with 41-year-old right-hander Koji Uehara, who got the save Friday despite allowing a solo homer to Evan Longoria.

Farrell said the team spoke with Ziegler about 1:30 a.m. after Arizona’s game ended in San Francisco.

“We briefly discussed how things are going to shape up,” Farrell said.

Uehara is 2-3 with a 4.96 ERA and three saves. He’s struggled giving up eight homers in just 32 2/3 innings.

In 2012, then-Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tore a ligament in his right knee shagging balls in Kansas City.

Farrell said it was part of Kimbrel’s cardiovascular work.

“Pregame conditioning went fine. There was a change of direction during shagging BP, which is routine, normal,” he said. “This is anomaly. You can’t put guys in bubbles.”

Kimbrel said he won’t reconsider his routine because it was a fluke, and only on a grounder.

“If I was shagging flyballs, maybe,” he said. “I just took a step.”

The Red Sox already had set-up reliever Junichi Tazawa shut down for a few days with a sore shoulder. He’s hasn’t pitched since Sunday and Farrell said he’s unavailable Saturday. They already lost setup man Carson Smith for the season after he underwent elbow reconstructive surgery in late May.

Ziegler was available because the Diamondbacks are far of the NL West chase, 17 back of the Giants. Arizona is 10 behind the New York Mets for the NL’s second wild card.

Report: The Padres pulled Craig Kimbrel back off waivers

San Diego Padres closer Craig Kimbrel pumps his fist as he watches the final out in the Padres' 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves in a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

It was reported Friday that Padres closer Craig Kimbrel was claimed off revocable waivers by an unidentified team. All indications were that the Padres would keep him and it’s now official.

Since the Padres pulled him back off waivers, this makes him ineligible to traded for the remainder of the season. Kimbrel was linked in some trade rumors leading up to the July 31 non-waiver deadline, so perhaps we’ll hear more this winter.

Kimbrel, who was acquired from the Braves at the end of spring training, has posted a 2.68 ERA and 68/18 K/BB ratio in 50 innings this season while going 36-for-38 in save opportunities. The 27-year-old is owed $24 million over the next two seasons and his contract carries a $13 million club option or $1 million buyout for 2018.

Craig Kimbrel claimed on waivers by unknown team

Craig Kimbrel

Padres closer Craig Kimbrel was claimed on revocable waivers by an unknown team, but the team has no plans to trade him, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Padres drew some interest in Kimbrel leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but ultimately decided to keep the flamethrowing right-hander.

Kimbrel, 27, is earning $9 million this season, the second year of a four-year, $42 million extension he signed with the Braves in February 2014. The Braves sent him to San Diego in April along with Melvin Upton in exchange for Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, Matt Wisler, Jordan Paroubeck, and the 2015 competitive balance round A pick.

Kimbrel is 36-for-38 in save situations this season with a 2.88 ERA and a 68/18 K/BB ratio in 50 innings.