White Sox Purchase Craig Kimbrel For Nick Madrigal, Codi Heuer
The Cubs and White Sox swung a crosstown blockbuster, with the South Siders including star reliever Craig Kimbrel in alternate for second baseman Nick Madrigal and right-hander Codi Heuer. Kimbrel will pair with Liam Hendriks to present the Sox a deadly one-two punch on the again finish of the bullpen.
Kimbrel turns into the second reliever dealt between the crosstown rivals in as many days. The Sox additionally picked up Ryan Tepera from the Cubs yesterday. Clearly, including Kimbrel is a much more impactful improvement, because the 32-year-old has been arguably the most effective reliever in baseball over the course of the season.
Whereas the Cubs’ three-year, $43MM free agent funding in Kimbrel initially seemed like a misstep, he’s utterly turned the tables round in 2021. By way of 36 2/Three innings throughout 39 appearances, the eight-time All-Star has extremely pitched to a 0.49 ERA/1.83 SIERA. He’s among the many high two relievers (minimal 30 innings pitched) in ERA (1st), SIERA (2nd- 1.83) strikeout fee (1st- 46.7%), strikeout/stroll fee differential (2nd- 37.2 proportion factors). Solely his new teammate, Hendriks, bests him in SIERA and Ok% minus BB%.
The reinvigorated Kimbrel can stay in Chicago by way of 2022. He’s enjoying out the ultimate assured season of his contract on a $16MM wage (round $5.6MM of which continues to be owed) and is controllable subsequent season through $16MM membership choice. Coming into the 12 months, it appeared possible he’d be purchased out for $1MM, however that value now seems like a cut price.
Choosing up the highest reliever on the commerce market, as one would possibly count on, got here at a hefty value. The White Sox transfer two gamers immediately off the massive league roster, together with their beginning second baseman for a lot of the season. Madrigal, a former high 5 general decide and highly-regarded prospect, made his massive league debut final season. He’s instantly stepped in and carried out properly, hitting .317/.358/.406 (114 wRC+) over his first 324 massive league plate appearances.
Madrigal doesn’t hit for energy, however he’s maybe the sport’s finest contact hitter. The best-handed hitter has amazingly gone down on strikes in simply 7.4% of his plate appearances. That propensity for placing almost the whole lot into play has led to excessive sufficient batting averages to make Madrigal an above-average offensive participant regardless of the shortage of extra-base affect. He’s additionally a succesful defensive second baseman, so Madrigal brings worth on either side of the ball.
Sadly, Madrigal gained’t play once more this season. The 24-year-old suffered a major proper hamstring tear in early June. He underwent season-ending surgical procedure shortly thereafter, ending what proved to be his last season with the White Sox. He’s anticipated to be again to full energy by Spring Coaching 2022 and would seemingly step in because the Cubs common second baseman from that time on.
Madrigal didn’t accrue a full 12 months of service time final season, so he’ll be controllable by way of 2026. He does appear prone to qualify for early arbitration as a Tremendous Two participant after the 2022 season, however he stays a long-term pickup for the Cubs who ought to solidify the center of the infield and doubtlessly hit close to the highest of the order for a number of seasons.
Heuer seems prone to soar proper into the massive league bullpen. The hard-throwing 25-year-old has pitched within the majors for 2 seasons, tossing 62 1/Three mixed innings of reduction. Heuer has averaged a blistering 97.1 MPH on his fastball and labored to a 3.75 ERA/3.60 SIERA as a giant leaguer, though he’s struggled a bit in 2021 after a incredible rookie marketing campaign. He’s controllable for the subsequent 4 seasons, reaching arbitration by 2023.
Michael Cerami of Bleacher Nation first reported the White Sox have been buying Kimbrel. Bob Nightengale of USA As we speak was first to report that Madrigal and Heuer have been going to the Cubs in return.