We are now only 2 1/2 weeks away from the trade deadline. You can bet Jed Hoyer’s phone will start to ring more and more. Who all is in the mix in terms of most value when it comes to the Chicago Cubs? It is no longer a secret that everybody is available – for the right price. However, there is one man who is at the top of everybody’s wish list: Craig Kimbrel.
To put it simply, the Cubs closer is simply unhittable right now. Kimbrel owns a 0.57 ERA, 1.11 FIP, a top tier 15.3 K/9 and a miniscule 0.66 WHIP equating to a 2.0 WAR on the season. These are the type of Hall of Fame numbers that only the most elite in the history of the sport put up. So it only makes sense that Kimbrel has become the most sought-after trade chip on the market after Hoyer openly admitted the Cubs will, in fact, be prepared to sell.
There is nothing left to speculate on “if it happens” or “will it happen?” If the Cubs have the opportunity to fully restock their farm with a couple of blockbuster trades at the deadline, they need to pounce right away. It will not only open up the door for trades as buyers in the future, but coupled with the fact that the Cubs have $65,000,000 coming off the books this offseason with an additional $31,000,000 already under the luxury tax threshold, Tom Ricketts could be prepared to spend again as soon as this offseason.
A fully stocked farm and the revenue to buy up multiple big name free agents is the exact recipe a team needs to propel themselves up the ladder of success. This could be what Jed Hoyer means when he says “retool” rather than completely “rebuild.”
With all this in mind, let’s take a look at three of the top teams who will be wanting to utilize Craig Kimbrel’s services and make a deep run into October.