The Cubs dealt Joc Pederson to the Braves tonight, though a prominent former Brave wasn’t part of the talks between the two teams, as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter link) reports that Craig Kimbrel’s availability wasn’t discussed. Kimbrel would obviously have been a major boost for an inconsistent Atlanta bullpen, but Kimbrel is both considerably more expensive than Pederson and the Cubs surely would’ve demanded a much higher prospect return for the All-Star closer. Acquiring Kimbrel also would have been a clear all-in move for a Braves team that is still only 44-45, and perhaps only in contention by dint of a congested NL East. It’s possible that Atlanta might still pivot and start selling by the trade deadline if the team sinks further under the .500 mark over the next two weeks.
More on various hurlers around the sport…
- Kicking off the second half with a big series against the Brewers, the Reds expect to activate Michael Lorenzen and Sonny Gray from the injured list, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer writes. After missing the entire season due to a shoulder strain, Lorenzen will likely be activated prior to Friday’s game, while Gray (rib cage strain) will start Sunday after missing only the minimum 10 days on the IL. Lorenzen’s return will be welcomed by a Reds bullpen that has struggled all season, while Gray has pitched well despite three separate IL trips that have limited him to 62 innings. Cincinnati placed reliever Art Warren on the 10-day IL today due to a left oblique strain, but a 40-man roster move will be necessary to reinstate Lorenzen from the 60-day IL.
- The Astros are “going to entertain the idea of [acquiring] starting pitchers” at the trade deadline, GM James Click told The Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome and other reporters. Zack Greinke and Jose Urquidy are battling sore shoulders, Framber Valdez’s control has been shaky, and Luis Garcia and Cristian Javier might be approaching innings thresholds. These issues have combined to turn what had been an area of strength for the Astros into a potential concern down the stretch. On the plus side, relievers Josh James, Austin Pruitt, and Pedro Baez are all on rehab assignments and are expected to be activated from the injured list soon, with James and Pruitt coming perhaps as early as Friday. That trio and perhaps Garcia could all fortify the bullpen from within, allowing Houston to pursue rotation help.
- Madison Bumgarner will be activated from the 10-day injured list to start the Diamondbacks’ game with the Cubs on Friday, according to multiple reporters (including The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan). Bumgarner has been out of action due to shoulder inflammation since June 3, continuing what has thus far been a disastrous tenure in Arizona for the veteran lefty. Since signing a five-year, $85MM free agent deal in the 2019-20 offseason, Bumgarner has battled injuries and posted only a 6.04 ERA over 101 1/3 innings. It is very unlikely that a team will come calling about Bumgarner at the deadline given the size of his remaining contract, so the left-hander’s second half will just be about staying healthy and posting some solid numbers as a platform for better things next year.
I hope they hold up the A’s for a top prospect plus in exchange for Kimbrel
More likely to get it from the Jays ! Oakland is liable to buy on one of the cheap cost controlled relievers from the tigers or orioles
Ian Kennedy could be in play for the A’s too.
That would be an over pay. Cubs should try to get what they can for Kimbrel, but not likely to be more than a mid-level prospect or two
They likely can get a better return for Kimbrell if they can leverage blue jays and Phillies at a min as teams that would be a lot better then their current records if they had a reliable late inning guy like Kimbrell
Return for Kimble will be the highlight of the deadline. Don’t forget there’s a team option at $16m for ‘22, so the buyer is getting an extra postseason with Kimbrel as a closer.
I would expect at least 2 ML-ready pieces and another decent prospect.
He’s probably the single most important acquisition a team will make at this year’s deadline.
I mean some teams might prefer rich rod of the pirates who’s a little younger an a lot cheaper but is reliant ( and really good at it ) on weak fly balls for his outs and doesn’t miss bats at any notable level !
Teams like Phillies and jays need someone like Kimbrell who can keep the ball out of play and strike out multiple batters so they aren’t subject to good or bad balls in play luck !
Phillies in particular have a absurd amount of blown saves in the 8th and esp 9th innings ! If they had Kimbrell and another one of the Cubs relievers they might have been slightly ahead of the Mets at this point though Mets injuries factored in
Ignorant Sonofab 2
Tremendously inaccurate. Relievers are a dime a dozen and unpredictable from one year to the next. Foolhardy to spend 18 million or giving up 2 ML-ready pieces for him.
Don’t think the Jays (or many other teams) are all that interested in Kimbrell……
He’s on $16M contract and gets the same salary in 2022. While he’s having a great 2021, should he revert back to his 2019-20 version a team gets stuck. Am sure the Kirby Yates fiasco is fresh in the Jays FO’s minds.
Instead I think they’ll go after Richard Rodriguez of the Pirates. He’s a few years younger than Kimbrell, on a $1.7M contract, and under control for another 2 years. Add in that Pirates GM Ben Cherington built the Jays farm system so he knows their prospects as well as anyone.
As for the Phillies……
They’re up against the salary cap, so I don’t see them going after Kimbrell, or any name/expensive relief pitcher. They need at least 2 more pitchers for the stretch run. I look for them to do what they did in patching CF by signing Travis Jankowski and bringing him up. The Phillies already have too many highly paid veterans that are producing at a so-so rate (especially in their bullpen). They’re not about to trade off any cheap young talent for another overpaid, struggling veteran…..not unless Dombrowski intends to leave after the 2021 season.
P.S. Am sure discussions have been held over available pitchers for a few weeks now. GM’s waiting to see which fence sitters will become sellers.
He’s on $16M contract and gets the same salary in 2022. While he’s having a great 2021, should he revert back to his 2019-20 version a team gets stuck. Am sure the Kirby Yates fiasco is fresh in the Jays FO’s minds.”
I mean, it’s an option. They aren’t required to pick it up. But elite pitching costs money. He’s got a SUB ONE era right now…If he sucks down the stretch a team can deny the option if they really feel the need. But he has a tremendous track record, having a phenomenal year and while expensive, potentially being acquired for 2 WS runs.
He’s bringing back a nice haul. Not sure how you don’t think it’s at least feasible. Teams overpay like no other for relievers at the deadline. Kimbrel’s 0.57 era after 33 appearances will surely get a contenders attention
Well said and very realistic price for a high end closer. Or it will be 1 top prospect.
Glad you read Moneyball. Rule doesn’t always apply, though. This logic would have bet against Mariano Rivera every season
Mariano Rivera never had 2 seasons like Kimbrel’s 2019-20.
Cot’s and Spotrac do not show Kimbrel’s 2022 contract as an option. He’s due that in salary.
The point regarding Kimbrel’s is this…..
Most teams he’s being rumored as being traded to are up against the salary cap now. Adding $16M in guaranteed 2022 salary limits what those teams can do this offseason.
Teams such as the Phillies and Jays are trying to get into the playoffs. They’re long shots are getting to a WS this year. Both teams have more issues than just a closer.
Cot’s: 22:$16M club option ($1M buyout)
2022 option is guaranteed 1) with 110 games finished in 2021-22 combined, including 55 GF in 2021, and 2) if Kimbrel does not suffer a non-temporary injury
Even with pro-ration, Kimbrel didn’t finish enough in 2020 to have a chance of guaranteeing the option.
I don’t know where you’re getting that from, but you may well be correct.
What I’m seeing is that he’s due $16m in 2022. Other stories I’ve read have said he’s guaranteed $16M in 2022.
Nevertheless I do believe he’ll be traded, but I have no idea of what the cost in prospects will be.
Kimbrel had a rough year and a half—yet apparently his very close to hall of fame career means nothing to these guys, and he’s only 33.
Lotta gas left in that tank.
Samuel, good point about the Phillies being up against the luxury tax. They’ve been very careful the last two season to stay under it. In my non-professional opinion, I think the only way they go after Kimbrel is if they totally go for the division win and target multiple position upgrades. I don’t think they’d go over the tax for just a single piece.
‘19 & ‘20 seasons were not good comps to keep bringing up. He didn’t sign as FA in ‘19 until June, then couldn’t get going, and in ‘20 no one is paying much attention to because of how it impacted even the superstar players. Using full season, non-Covid years, Kimbrel has been and still is on a HOF path.
Samuel,it is an option.
lol a mid level prospect
Maybe kimbrell and Baez package will get a few top prospects in return
Kimbrel. That’s his name 1 l not 2 l’s.
Does anyone here think that the Cubs will get more for Kimbrel than they did for Darvish? I don’t. I would expect significantly less.
yes much higher rated prospects easily
Only starters that would maybe make the Astros better are Berrios and Scherzer. They already have a guy named Christian Javier that they’ve criminally misused and who’s better than anyone that would be made available. Max would make the most sense considering part of the deal would be he get an extension. Click would be happy to give him 3 years 90 mil
Hendricks would be better short term then Javier ! Astros shouldn’t trade Javier or Gracia for him though so likely moot
Why would the Twins trade José Berríos?
He’s 27 years old making $6.1M. He’s under control in 2022, and they may well try to sign him to a long-term extension.
The Twins shortcoming is pitching and defense.
The only way I see them trading him is if they p[an to go a major rebuild and he won’t agree to an extension. At this time there are no signs of that.
Starting pitching is the last thing the Astros need to add right now. They have 7 quality starters, although moving both Javier and Garcia to the bullpen makes sense with their youth and inexperience starting in a full 162-game season. All of this depth gives them the luxury of resting guys when they need it. Right now Urquidy is resting his arm, and Greinke may join him soon. If they need someone else to start in their place they have both Javier and Austin Pruitt to fill in.
Morton reunion with the Astros would be fun.
With today’s trade I highly doubt the Brave are looking to be sellers. Especially one of their best pitchers.
Ignorant Sonofab 2
Acquisition of Joc Pederson is not to be seen as the Braves “going for it.” They merely needed a warm body to fill in for Acuña who might also hit a few homers to keep fans in the park.
I would like to see that! Good starting depth, and we know he can handle bullpen innings if necessary.
Unless they have a terrible next 2 weeks, they aren’t selling. They just made a trade in an attempt to reach the playoffs this year. Again, not sellers. I’m a Mets fan but I can see they’re gearing up to push for the playoffs. Not getting rid of food players on the MLB roster.
I agree. I’m not sure the Braves are all-in, but they definitely look like they want to compete. Too many folks writing off the Braves. They still have two AS-level hitters, three more good hitters, and a good rotation.
They have Freeman, who is the other AS-level hitter? Then they have Albies and Riley, but who is the 3rd good hitter? Finally, their rotation is 17th in fWAR, 14th in ERA and 16th by FIP…not exactly what I’d consider, “good”.
Really, if the Braves end up trading Morton, Houston be nice. I’d trade Morton for Hunter Brown straight up.
Giants should be looking for Kimbrel to be honest. I’m aware SF pen has done well to this point but do they really want Jake McGee trying to close games against the Dodgers or Padres in October?
I think the A’s would be ok sticking with Trivino personally.
SF also has a somewhat cheaper payroll by their typical standards this year. They have room to add multiple pieces and should be all in
The giddy fan in me wants a Kimbrel/Bryant trade to SF, but then I remind myself the giddy fan In me also wants a MadBum reunion (for pennies of course).
Have a feeling the Giants FO will be taking a very different approach though. The way Z and Harris operate reminds me of the A’s and Rays, and they rarely make big splashes.
The giddy fan in you needs a wakeup call. Bumgarner is going downhill fast.
@Hopper15 – I think he knows that. I’m assuming it would just be nostalgic. Clearly not a smart baseball move lol.
Hopper, thank you Captain Obvious. He qualified Madbum by calling himself “giddy fan.” Truth be told, I thought Madbum would be a good pickup for the Dodgers. Whew! Dodged a bullet on that one.
Why should they be all in? I can understand the argument that their older players may not continue to play well and especially not at the same time, but the Giants are an up and coming team that’s performed above expectations…I wouldn’t make moves that derail their plan just because they’re playing well this year.
Derail what plan? The plan that puts them better than the best record in baseball?
Sitting around waiting for the future when you’re the best team in baseball this year makes little sense.
I’m not suggesting they give away players for nothing but now is the time to go out and get what you need. If now isn’t the time, when would be? 3 years from because that’s what their plan says and we don’t want to derail it? That makes no sense.
I constantly hear this “Giants older players” narrative, and I just don’t get it. Yes they’re a mostly veteran team, but they aren’t geriatric, as depicted by many fans. They are the oldest team, by average for position players, but Longoria is the only guy aged 35. No one is older. The Dodgers have 2 guys older than that.
Pitchers are more susceptible to injury and the Giants pitchers are younger than the RSox, A’s, Cubs, Twins, and Nationals.
Speaking of the Nationals, they were the oldest team in MLB in 2019, their WS title winning season.
Not to mention that injuries hit across the age spectrum. SDs Snell and Lamet are both 28. injured, and 36 yo Melancon is having a great year. Acuna is 23, and the Braves are also without 23 yo Ynoa.
I just don’t see early to mid-30s as being that big an age issue, especially when guys much closer to 40 than any Giants player are still productive, like Justin Turner, Nelly Cruz and Greinke.
The Giants may fade in the NLW race. It wouldn’t surprise me. But if they do, it will be due to their talent level, and depth, not age.
Ignorant Sonofab 2
Kimbrel’s little Jedi stance he does is tremendously irritating. I root for his implosion every single time. Guy bugs me.
Username checks out
Astros, get Craig Kimbrel instead of starting pitching.
Kimbrel is a tough buy in my opinion. I don’t believe any team will give up one of there top 5 prospects for him. With his salary being top scale already for relievers. Plus, his option year next year for a team isn’t even that inviting at 16m. They’ll be plenty of solid RP’s on the market that u can get for less for sure.
At the end of the day, I don’t believe any team will give up any one of there top 5 prospects for him. That said, the Cubs should look for a team with big time depth in there system. That’s What separates teams in there minor league system is, the next 10 guys, say 6 thru 15. You might be able to get a couple of them from a stacked minor league system that needs RP help. That’s only a couple thou from what I see. Anyway, I ask you, what is his true value in trade? I don’t think as much as most.
We can speculate all day long but his trade value will be whatever someone’s willing to give up for him.
Whether or not he could get someone in a team’s top 5 would depend on which team, imo. There is a pretty big difference in the farm systems for some of the potential landing spots. It also depends on whether or not the cubs are willing to eat money or take on a bad contract in the trade.
While I don’t disagree with you that $16m is at the high end for relief pitchers, it is an option and it’s also only for 1 year, which you likely won’t find for the high end relief pitchers on the FA market.
I’d be ok with the cubs going for a quantity of far off guys over fixating on a top 5 type for him. I think they’re gonna need to go through a pretty significant rebuild process and their farm just needs to add talent.
As a Crew fan and acknowledging that and intra-division trade is very unlikely, I wouldn’t mind seeing Rizzo take over 1B for the Brewers. And I’m not a big fan of Kimbrel, but how awesome would it be to add his recent dominance to the Crew’s bullpen?? Would really solidify the team by adding those two…
Kimbrel. I just had lobster bisque for breakfast. Kimbrel will be going to a city that specializes in tourists and sea food. It’s a sign.
San Francisco here he comes !!
S F has the best Fisherman’s wharf
in any baseball city.
He will be a great addition alongside Kris Bryant in left field.
Seattle > SF for seafood. But Seattle has no need for Kimbrel.
But could use Rizzo
Kimbrel goes to the Phillies for Marchan c,Spencer Howard plus one of many suspects