The Chicago Cubs are sellers at the trade deadline after a disappointing mid-season. They are likely to trade away several stars, including lockdown closer Craig Kimbrel. Here are some potential trade destinations for Kimbrel.
Make sure to check out TGH’s other Cubs trade destinations pieces on our MLB page!
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are in the market for some late-inning bullpen arms and there may be none better on the market than Kimbrel.
Kenley Jansen is currently the longest-tenured closer on the roster, but the team could absolutely could use a spark. Los Angeles also has a way of turning rentals into long-term acquisitions due to their deep pockets. Kimbrel is showing no signs of slowing down and is not as much of a roller coaster as in previous seasons.
Los Angeles may want a starter more than a reliever, but having a closer to lean on could allow the Dodgers to let other relievers pitch more innings. His salary will also allow the team to save a bit of money rather than going after a more-expensive starter.
The Astros need bullpen help if they plan on reaching the World Series again. The only problem with acquiring Kimbrel is the bidding war that could drive up the already high price the Cubs will place on him ahead of the deadline.
It is being said that Kimbrel could actually net the Cubs the most in a trade, despite his contract being essentially up after this season, with a team option in 2022. If the Astros want him they will need to strike fast and be unafraid to give Chicago a high-level prospect.
That being said, a lights out guy like Kimbrel is exactly what could propel Houston from playoff-bound to real contenders.
San Diego Padres
The Padres are trying to make a push for the NL West crown, despite being in a division with the World Series champions and a shockingly good Giants team. Craig Kimbrel is one piece that could get them to where they want to be.
Their closer, Mark Melancon, is undeniably good, but imagine an eighth and ninth punctuated by these two taking the mound back-to-back. That kind of late-inning pitching is what wins games against tough lineups like the Dodgers.
Starters are becoming less and less relevant in the playoffs, as well. A supremely deep bullpen is not only how the Dodgers won last season, but how the Rays made it to the World Series. If San Diego wants to go all in, they could have Kimbrel for two years as they tweak the rotation.
Featured Image courtesy of Quinn Harris/Getty Images
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