Fans knew something along these lines had to happen. It was unclear who it’d be with, but the Los Angeles Dodgers simply needed to show they were willing to be aggressive before the Friday 4 p.m. ET trade deadline.
Now we have a telling indicator president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is about to kick this whole thing into high gear.
According to MLB insider Jon Morosi, the Dodgers have been in contact with the Chicago Cubs and those talks have focused on “multiple players,” including closer Craig Kimbrel.
Are the Dodgers about to pull off the blockbuster of the summer?
What else do the Dodgers need? Oh, that’s right! Starting pitching! Remember they lost three-fifths of their rotation recently and two of those guys are expected to miss all of 2021? There’s also no telling what the rest of the year will look like for Clayton Kershaw given his troubling ailment.
So let’s play the hypothetical game. How about a Craig Kimbrel/Kyle Hendricks package? What’ll that cost the Dodgers?
This Dodgers-Cubs trade package could land LAD Craig Kimbrel and Kyle Hendricks.
Folks, this won’t be cheap. And you might not like it. But if the Dodgers are going all in with hopes of capturing back-to-back titles and burning the division-rival Padres and Giants in the process, the Cubs are very much aware of the stakes and how much of the narrative they truly control.
Let’s propose this, then:
Dodgers Get: Craig Kimbrel and Kyle Hendricks
Cubs Get: No. 1 prospect Keibert Ruiz, No. 2 prospect Josiah Gray, No. 8 prospect Andy Pages and Dustin May
Woah! Relax there! Remember, these aren’t rentals. Kimbrel has a $16 million team option for next season, which would be an easy “yes” in the event the Dodgers can’t bring back Kenley Jansen at a reasonable price, while Hendricks is signed through 2023 and has a $16 million vesting option for 2024. Maybe the Cubs send along some cash in this deal to help the Dodgers avoid a larger luxury tax penalty. After all, Chicago would be getting a ton of cost-effective players here.
This immediately gives the Dodgers a vaunted three-headed back-end of their bullpen with Kimbrel, Jansen and Blake Treinen. As for adding Hendricks to the rotation, he’ll help stabilize the unit beyond Walker Buehler and Julio Urias. Both Cubs veterans will provide plenty of postseason pedigree too.
Then maybe convince the Nats to give you Scherzer for a couple of guys they can use to build around Juan Soto? The stakes are high and the prices are prohibitive when you’re chasing non-rental elite relievers and starting pitching. The Dodgers will always be able to maneuver, though. They have the best front office, scouting department, etc. in the sport. And they print money.
Worry about the loss of that much young talent later.