3 Most Likely Trade Destinations for Craig Kimbrel at 2021 MLB Trade Deadline

Larry Rupp
Three of the most likely trade destinations for Chicago Cubs reliever Craig Kimbrel.
Three of the most likely trade destinations for Chicago Cubs reliever Craig Kimbrel. / Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The 2021 MLB All-Star break takes soon and that means the trade deadline is also only a few weeks away. One struggling team that could be forced to be sellers the the deadline is the Chicago Cubs and they have a key trade piece in shutdown relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel.

The veteran closer has posted a 0.57 ERA and 0.66 WHIP across 31.2 innings pitched so far this season to go along with 20 saves. He would make a great addition to any team looking to upgrade its bullpen. With that being said, here are three of the most likely trade destinations for Kimbrel.

Craig Kimbrel Trade Rumors

1. Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox know how important it is to have reliable arms coming out of the bullpen in the postseason. It's interesting to note that Kimbrel pitched with Boston from 2016-18 and even won a World Series title with the team. A reunion makes a lot of sense here as the Red Sox have the prospects to make it intriguing for the Cubs. Plus, Kimbrel knows what it takes to pitch in big games. Pairing the eight-time All-Star with current closer Matt Barnes would give the team a scary one-two punch to employ in the later innings.

2. Houston Astros

Another contending team that should be looking to make a move for a reliever is the Houston Astros. Their bullpen unit currently ranks No. 15 in the MLB with an ERA of 4.09. That's simply not going to get the job done in the playoffs. Houston is caught in a tough race with the Oakland Athletics in the AL West and acquiring a dominant arm like Kimbrel is the kind of move that could take them over the top. The 33-year-old hurler has 54 strikeouts compared to just 10 walks on the season. He would instantly improve the Astros' options at the end of games.

3. Philadelphia Phillies

It is no secret that the Philadelphia Phillies have struggled to find any capable bullpen arms over the last few seasons. In fact, their bullpen currently sports a 4.83 ERA, which is the seventh-worst mark in all of baseball. Although they currently sit one game under a .500 record, the Phillies are just 4.0 games back in the NL East and could be buyers at the deadline. This team hasn't been to the playoffs since 2011 and could go all-in by acquiring Kimbrel in a blockbuster move. He also has a $16 million club option for the 2022 season, allowing the Phillies to bring him back if it all works out.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.