The Chicago Cubs will never get better value than right now for relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel so who are playoff contenders that could trade for him ahead of the MLB trade deadline?
While the Chicago Cubs have been one of the best teams in the National League this year, the team will eventually have to rebuild and closer Craig Kimbrel could fetch a nice ransom at the deadline.
In 24 appearances this season, Kimbrel has a blistering 0.75 ERA, an impressive 0.750 WHIP and 14 saves. He has 41 strikeouts in 24.0 innings pitched. At 33-years-old, we are getting vintage Kimbrel akin to his rise to prominence with the Atlanta Braves in the early 2010s. He will be a free agent this winter and may not return to the North Side.
Though Chicago does not have to trade him if they remain in first place in the NL Central, here are three quality teams who can strike a deal.
Craig Kimbrel trade rumors: 3 teams who can deal for Chicago Cubs star closer
Houston Astros may need a jolt of energy to go on another deep postseason run
Even if they wear the black hat for the entire league, the Houston Astros should be one of the five best teams in the American League this year. Despite being a Wild Card team a year ago, Houston made it all the way to the ALCS before bowing out to the Tampa Bay Rays. Through June 6, Houston trails the Oakland Athletics by a game in the AL West standings at 33-26 on the year.
Kimbrel has had great success previously in the American League during his three-year run with the Boston Red Sox. He made three trips to the All-Star Game and helped the Red Sox win a World Series in 2018. While Kimbrel is typically a one-inning guy, pitching in the American League could give a bullpen like the Astros four additional outs to help close out high-stakes baseball games.