Chicago Cubs manage to extract value from Craig Kimbrel’s contract in the end
The first move the Cubs made on deadline day was to move their highly sought-after closer to the crosstown White Sox, making him the second reliever in as many days traded there. Craig Kimbrel was perhaps the best trade chip on the market and it’s not hard to see why. In the last guaranteed year of his deal, Kimbrel had a ridiculous 0.49 ERA, 15.7 K/9, and just 3.2 BB/9 which created a massive bidding war between almost every contender.
Hoyer obviously had his choice of offers, but instead of going for a package of prospects, he opted for a more interesting return. Nick Madrigal is almost a carbon copy of Nico Hoerner, as he’s an elite contact hitter with virtually no power and not much of a penchant for drawing walks, which flies in the face of a typical hitter in today’s game.
Madrigal was the White Sox everyday second baseman before getting injured and he’ll likely take that same spot when he’s back, moving Hoerner over to shortstop. There’s nothing wrong with a contact hitter as your headliner per se, especially if he can keep up his .305 pace, but it’s certainly interesting.
Not to be forgotten, Codi Heuer has struggled in the majors this year, but has fantastic pitches to work with, and could be a future candidate for the closer role on the northside. Overall, it’s an interesting return for Kimbrel. Madrigal and Heuer could wind being good for a long time, but with the number of teams in on Kimbrel, it felt like the Cubs should’ve gotten a tad more.