The Chicago Cubs bullpen is a key target for a lot of teams looking to improve ahead of Friday’s MLB trade deadline. Andrew Chafin was the first casualty after he was poached by the Oakland A’s and now it may be Craig Kimbrel‘s turn. Amidst all the rumors surrounding Kimbrel, one name came up that should frighten the rest of baseball: the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In an interview with ESPN 1000 this week, Jesse Rogers stated his belief that the Dodgers are the team at the front of the pack when it comes to dealing for Kimbrel.
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There are other clubs in the fray, but none match the need, interest and desire to get it done quite like the Dodgers. With Kenley Jansen struggling mightily as of late, a trade for Kimbrel makes a lot of sense for L.A. to establish some dominance over the division.
Moreover, Kimbrel’s option for 2022 only sweetens the deal. Jansen is due to become a free agent at the end of this year, so the Dodgers have an opportunity to lock up their closer for next year. That extra year opens up a world of possibility for the Cubs to shop around in the Dodgers pipeline.
It makes a lot of sense for the Cubs to deal with the Dodgers. Their farm system ranked 14 overall at the beginning of the season and still features a lot of pieces the Cubs should be interested in. From their prospect pool, infielder Michael Busch, Kody Hoese, or righties Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot are intriguing pieces that aren’t too far off from the majors and could be involved in a package for Kimbrel.
The Chicago Cubs could get a big return from the Dodgers for Craig Kimbrel.
The big prize for the Cubs would be catcher Keibert Ruiz, the Dodgers’ top prospect who’s only in the minors right now because he’s blocked by Will Smith and Austin Barnes. Andrew Friedman has stated he doesn’t want to deal him for a rental, but Kimbrel’s option might be enough to swing the deal. It wouldn’t be the only catching prospect the Cubs have kicked the tires on either as they asked about Joey Bart’s availability in a Kris Bryant trade to the Giants.
As far as we know, nothing has gone down yet between the Cubs and Dodgers, but it makes a lot of sense especially given the recent developments with Jansen and the overall fit. Los Angeles was already likely to make a move to bolster the bullpen and they have the talent necessary to get a deal done with Jed Hoyer for one of the top closers in the game.