Cubs News: REPORT: Trade market for Craig Kimbrel heating up
|Wednesday, July 7, 2021, 8:00 AM- -|
CHICAGO — With the Chicago Cubs having lost 11 games in a row, marking their first double-digit losing streak in nine years, trade rumors surrounding the North Siders are naturally beginning to circulate. One such rumor involves closer Craig Kimbrel, who has reestablished himself as one of the top relievers in all of baseball this season.
ESPN reporter Buster Olney tweeted on Tuesday that Kimbrel, 33, will be "the most coveted player in the trade market." Having capitalized on 20-of-22 save opportunities thus far this season, Kimbrel was just named to his eighth All-Star team. Furthermore, his contract contains a $16 million team option for the 2022 slate, which likely makes Kimbrel an even hotter commodity in trade considerations.
In Olney's opinion, the Boston Red Sox, who currently sit atop the American League East standings, are "a natural landing spot" for Kimbrel. The fireballer pitched for the Red Sox from 2016-18, winning a World Series with the club in 2018.
However, Olney reportedly shared his Red Sox take with "a high-ranking MLB executive" and received pushback, with the executive disagreeing and citing the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics as the two likeliest landing spots for Kimbrel. As of now, the Astros and A's are in first and second place, respectively, in the American League West.
Mentioned to a high-ranking MLB exec that the Red Sox might be a natural landing spot for Craig Kimbrel. He pushed back, and speculated that Kimbrel's destination will come down to either the Astros or the Athletics. Kimbrel will be the most coveted player in the trade market.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 6, 2021
At 42-44 and nine games out of first place in the National League Central — as well as eight games out of the second National League wild card spot — the Cubs could very well be major sellers ahead of the July 30 trade deadline, especially if their present backslide does not come to a halt soon. Kimbrel is expected to be one of several prominent Cubs mentioned in trade talks in the coming weeks, and he could be the first domino to fall in a major Cubs overhaul.