Four best landing spots if Cubs trade Kimbrel

Craig Kimbrel
Craig Kimbrel is one of MLB's best closers in 2021. Photo from Chicago Tribune.

It’s time to dive into some Craig Kimbrel trade rumors.

Kimbrel is having a career year. The 33-year-old has 23 saves this season, the fourth-most in the league. More impressively, he currently has a superb 0.49 ERA.

The All-Star is likely to be on the move as the Cubs begin their rebuild. Chicago already traded reliever Andrew Chafin and are expected to trade Kris Bryant and possibly Anthony Rizzo. With Kimbrel having his best season since 2018 when he helped the Boston Red Sox to a World Series, there’s no reason for the Cubs to hold onto Kimbrel, as they sit two games under .500 and 8.5 games out of a Wild Card spot.

Craig Kimbrel trade rumors 2021

It doesn’t really matter how good a team’s bullpen is. If they have the assets to acquire an arm like Kimbrel, you jump on that opportunity. There’s no such thing as too many dominant arms in the pen when it comes to baseball in October.

Kimbrel does have one more year left on his contract, where he will get paid $16 million in 2022, so he’s not simply just a rental. Chicago could use that to its advantage. And also given the fact as to how many teams should be interested in him, the Cubs could get a nice little haul of prospects and young players to help their rebuild.

Here are four teams that should feature in Craig Kimbrel trade rumors 2021…

Red Sox

Could a reunion between Craig Kimbrel and the Boston Red Sox be on the table? It certainly is a possibility. Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reported that the Red Sox are one of the teams in on the closer.


Matt Barnes has had an All-Star season in his first year as the full-time closer in Boston. He has 22 saves in 26 opportunities with a 2.36 ERA. The Red Sox bullpen in general has been one of the more dangerous pens in the league. However, bringing in Kimbrel would give the Red Sox a three-headed monster of Kimbrel, Barnes and Adam Ottavino to slam the door for the final three innings.

White Sox

Levine also reported that the Chicago White Sox are another team interested in Kimbrel. Like the Red Sox, the White Sox have an All-Star closer in Liam Hendriks. In his first season on the South Side, the Australian has 25 saves in 29 opportunities, the second-most in baseball, while sporting a 2.44 ERA.

Kimbrel would be an addition to a bullpen already full of studs. According to EV Analytics, the White Sox have the best bullpen. Jose Ruiz has been sensational with a 2.97 ERA. Garrett Crochet and Michael Kopech are two flame throwers that can be utilized. As an NL scout said in Levine’s article, “No one would touch Hendriks and Kimbrel in the eighth and ninth. You could just ask your starters to go five and watch the bullpen with those power arms eat up the rest of the game in the playoffs.”

Padres

Another team with an All-Star closer, the San Diego Padres have been connected to the Kimbrel trade rumors, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports.

The team is looking to improve a bullpen that already has Mark Melancon, who leads the MLB in saves with 31.

The rest of the Padres’ bullpen has been quite reliable. Despite not being the biggest names in baseball, the trio of Craig Stammen, Tim Hill and Austin Adams all have ERAs under 3.00.

The Padres are in a dogfight in the NL West, currently 5.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants for first and 2.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are in the second wild card spot of the NL.

Dodgers

The reigning World Series champs, the Los Angeles Dodgers, are going to be contending to go back-to-back. The Dodgers are still relying on Kenley Jansen in the 9th inning, but that could change if the Dodgers trade for Kimbrel.

Jansen hasn’t been bad as the closer this season, but has struggled recently.

He has five blown saves on the year, tied for the second-most in baseball. He’s 1-4 on the year with a 2.97 ERA. However, in his last seven games, he’s 1-2 with a 12.71 ERA and just one save. If he continues at this rate, the Dodgers could be in trouble come October. Jansen is coming off a bad postseason last year, where he was 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA and pitched just 7.0 innings. Bringing in Kimbrel would give them more security in the 9th innings.

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About Bryan Murphy 25 Articles
Bryan Murphy is an avid sports fanatic with an unhealthy addiction to Twitter. Big Boston sports guy and Tuukka rask defender.

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