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The Chicago Cubs’ best trade asset at the July deadline has to be All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel.
Despite being in the middle of one of his best seasons to date, the Cubs are tied for third place in the NL Central with the St. Louis Cardinals, eight games back of the Milwaukee Brewers. Kimbrel has 20 saves in 33 appearances for the Cubs. He has a blistering 0.57 ERA and an incredible 0.663 WHIP on the season. Kimbrel will be entering free agency this winter as well.
Here are three teams who should be interested in dealing for Kimbrel as the deadline approaches.
Craig Kimbrel: 3 teams who need to make a trade with the Chicago Cubs for him
Craig Kimbrel could give the Braves a morale boost with Ronald Acuna out
Simply put, it was a first-half from hell for the Atlanta Braves. The three-time defending NL East champions suffered a rash of injuries, including a season-ender for All-Star right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. in the final series before the All-Star Game. While they are a tick under .500 at 44-45 on the season, the Braves are only four games back of the New York Mets in the NL East race.
While the Braves could go into selling mode in the coming weeks like the Cubs almost certainly will, one area where they need to get dramatically better to get back in this thing is to fix its lousy bullpen. Though it has gotten better in recent weeks, Atlanta could really use a shutdown closer like Kimbrel to help them shorten ballgames. Will Smith is way better served as a setup man.
Since Kimbrel is in the final year of his deal with the Cubs, he could be interested in a Braves Country homecoming before hitting free agency and making bank again. He may command too much on the open market for a cash-strapped team like the Braves to offer him a multi-year deal. However, he could be the boost this awful Atlanta bullpen needs to get back into the postseason.
How Atlanta plays in the first few series after the All-Star Break will decide their course of action.