Things have taken a drastic turn for the worst for the Chicago Cubs over the past 10 days. A team that once sat in first place, now finds themselves 8.5 games out in the NL Central and riding a 10-game losing streak.
Many thought the Cubs could be a team that would buy at the deadline but with this 10-game losing streak and their season fading fast, it appears as if this is the end of the run for this core of players and Jed Hoyer will be able to sell. Especially with the team fading away and their odds at bet with bet365 not being very good to win the World Series.
But while the talk of extensions and trades has surrounded Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs have a player that could be the most coveted on the market come late July’s deadline.
Baseball reporter Buster Olney tweeted out that a few teams would make sense to acquire closer Craig Kimbrel at the deadline and noted that he will be a coveted player:
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
This echoed the thoughts from fellow reporter Jon Heyman who appeared on the “Mully & Haugh” show on 670 The Score Tuesday morning. Heyman told the hosts that Kimbrel will be the player that gets the most back in a deal for the Cubs:
“Kimbrel is the big one to me,” Heyman said on the Mully & Haugh Show on 670 The Score on Tuesday morning. “I mean, that’s the one that people are going to want the most. He’s been one of the two or three best closers in the game this year, an All-Star, regained his form. They should be able to get a ton for him. It’s a real seller’s market.
After acquiring Kimbrel a few years back, the veteran has finally pitched like a dominant closer for the Cubs here in 2021. He’s posted a 0.59 ERA, 0.65 WHIP and 20 saves in 32 appearances this season. He was also named to the 2021 MLB All-Star Team just two days ago.
With the Cubs likely being sellers, the trade market is going to heat up for them. And with decisions looming on their core, it’s fully expected that Kimbrel is the one that will be moved first. The only question remaining will be which team makes the first move in trying to acquire Kimbrel and what type of package will the Cubs get for the closer?