Chicago Cubs Trade Candidates: #1 – Craig Kimbrel
If I’d have told you two years ago that Craig Kimbrel would be the most coveted player on the trade market this summer, you’d have called me crazy. But here we are, with Kimbrel re-establisheg himself as the best closer in baseball here in 2021.
On the year, Kimbrel boasts a 15.3 K/9 and, last week, we learned he earned the eighth All-Star selection of his career. He’s allowing a ridiculously low 3.1 H/9, isn’t walking batters like he did earlier in his Cubs tenure and the results speak for themselves: a 0.57 ERA in 33 appearances to go along with 20 saves.
His dominance alone would make him valuable at the trade deadline. But when you throw in the fact Kimbrel’s contract contains a team option for 2022 at just $16 million, his value jumps to a whole new level. A future Hall of Famer, the right-hander is ready to anchor a bullpen down the stretch, and, while we expect a lot of movement from the Cubs, no trade will mean more to the future of the franchise.
Hoyer must nail this trade. We’re talking about top-tier talent coming back to Chicago in a deal – and if this team wants to reload quickly, getting the right guys in return here is absolutely critical. But of all the guys we’ll hear in rumors, none seem like more of a ‘sure thing’ to be traded than Craig Kimbrel.