Cubs: Ranking the team’s least likely big-name trade candidates

Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Cubs / Craig Kimbrel
(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Cubs will be hard-pressed to find a taker for Craig Kimbrel

The third and final guy on this list is closer Craig Kim brel. You’ll note: there is a different reason why each of these players are unlikely to be traded in the weeks and months to come.

For Rizzo, it’s his intangibles and consistency that, simply can’t be replaced. With Hendricks, the simple truth is no club seems to appropriately appreciate what he brings to the table. As for Kimbrel? It’s simply hard to imagine teams lining up for his services given what he’s done as a Cub.

Despite a stellar finish to the season this year, the veteran again struggled. He walked nearly one out of every five hitters he faced, and although his strikeout rate rebounded, his hard-hit rate also trended in the wrong direction.

He finished the year with a 5.28 ERA in 15 1/3 innings of work – although his 3.97 FIP suggests a slightly more favorable outlook on his efforts. Due $16 million in 2021 with a team option for as much in 2022, Kimbrel is on the costly side of the equation – so much so it’s hard to imagine the Cubs being able to trade him for anything of value.

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Maybe there’s a straight salary-dump trade out there where Chicago could get something done but they’re probably best-served holding onto Kimbrel and hoping he has a dominant run leading up to next summer’s trade deadline, then trying to flip him to a contender.

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