The Chicago White Sox have an elite bullpen — and that was before acquiring Craig Kimbrel.
The White Sox will add Kimbrel to an already loaded ‘pen after agreeing to a deal with the crosstown Cubs ahead of Friday’s deadline, according to multiple reports. Bleacher Nation’s Michael Cerami was the first to report Kimbrel was on the move.
Kimbrel didn’t come cheap, though. The White Sox sent second baseman Nick Madrigal — a former first-round pick and career .300 hitter — and reliever Codi Heuer to the Cubs, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
However, Kimbrel has been absolutely fantastic this season for the Cubs.
The 33-year-old has allowed just two runs on 13 hits in 39 appearances this season. He’s striking out nearly 16 batters per innings, and the biggest reason for his turnaround has been his ability to cut his walks in half. A year ago, he was miserable, walking seven per nine innings, but that number is down to 3.2 this season.
The ChiSox already have an All-Star reliever in Liam Hendricks, who has a 2.58 ERA and a ridiculous 0.73 WHIP in 45 appearances this season. And this isn’t the first Windy City bullpen swap this week. On Thursday, the Cubs dealt right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera — and his 3.23 ERA — to the White Sox for a minor leaguer.
Oh, and there’s also this: The White Sox currently have the American League’s third-best record with a comfortable eight-game lead in the Central.
The Boston Red Sox also were rumored to be a landing spot for Kimbrel, who helped the club claim the 2018 World Series title. With Kimbrel off the board, it’s possible Boston turns its attention to the starting pitchers market.