Dodgers Trade Rumors: Craig Kimbrel Among Players Discussed With Cubs
Craig Kimbrel
Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports

There is no denying the Los Angeles Dodgers are among the several teams looking to bolster their pitching staff at the MLB trade deadline, which is set for 1 p.m. PT on Friday. That effectively is a hard deadline as August waiver trades, beginning with the 2019 season.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman acknowledged his focus is on pitching, both in the former of starters and relief help. Though to this point much of the trade speculation involving the Dodgers has centered around their rotation.

L.A. has been linked to Texas Rangers closer Ian Kennedy, but it’s unclear how serious those trade talks got.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Dodgers have also been in contact with the Chicago Cubs regarding Craig Kimbrel and others:

Kimbrel has reportedly been the subject of trade interest for the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres, among others.

The right-hander is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career, converting 23 of 25 save opportunities thus far and pitching to a 0.49 ERA, 1.08 FIP and 0.71 WHIP in 39 games. Kimbrel’s 15.7 strikeouts per nine innings are down a notch from last season (16.4) but his 4.92 strikeout to walk ratio is his highest since a 2017 All-Star campaign with the Boston Red Sox.

It’s unclear which other players the Dodgers and Cubs have discussed in trade scenarios, but it can be presumed Kris Bryant was among them. Bryant’s versatility and being a right-handed batter would fit well on the Dodgers and help stabilize a lineup that’s dealt with a rash of injuries.

Bryant is due to become a free agent after this season, but Kimbrel’s contract includes a $16 million team option and $1 million buyout for 2022.

Would Kimbrel be Dodgers’ closer?

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts remained committed to Kenley Jansen as closer during his rough patch last week, and there isn’t necessarily reason to believe that would change with a trade for Kimbrel.

Roberts has emphasized versatility with relief pitchers and essentially a willingness to pitch at any point, which could lead to L.A. effectively deploying a two-closer approach.

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