Cubs could look to the Astros for a potential trade partner
The Houston Astros make sense in a Kimbrel trade for a couple reasons. First, they’re in need of a true closer after Ryan Pressly didn’t exactly excel in the role last year, and their bullpen moves this offseason have been limited to a couple of smaller signings.
Second, Kimbrel is the type of pitcher that Astros pitching coach, Brent Strom, loves to work with. Strom has a history of getting a ton out of pitchers with elite level stuff even if they’ve struggled in the past (Charlie Morton, Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander – to name a few). The hang-up here is money.
James Click, the Astros GM said the team was likely done spending big after re-signing Michael Brantley, and Kimbrel won’t come cheap. The Cubs would likely have to kick in some money to make the deal work. That might prevent a deal from getting done, but it certainly doesn’t make things impossible.
The Cubs aren’t going to get any elite prospects for Kimbrel, but they could get guys with some intriguing tools or pitches to work with. Someone that could make sense for the Cubs to target is righty fireballer, Jojanse Torres. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2018, Torres dominated in his first year in the minor leagues, going 12-0 with a 1.71 ERA across two Single-A levels.
Torres possesses a 70 grade fastball that sits from 96-98 MPH and tops out at 100, one of the best you’ll find, a solid 55 grade slider and an OK 50 grade changeup. A couple issues with Torres are his lack of control and the fact that he’s already 25. However, he presents an intriguing option for the Cubs to get back in a trade with the Houston Astros if they’re able to maximize his intriguing pitches.