The Chicago White Sox acquired reliever Craig Kimbrel from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline anticipating he would help fortify their bullpen for a World Series run.
Instead, Kimbrel was a disaster on the South Side. A closer with the Cubs and throughout his big league career, the White Sox tried to use Kimbrel as a setup man.
The move backfired spectacularly. In 24 regular season games with the Pale Hose, he posted a 2-2 record with a 5.09 ERA. In three appearances in the ALDS against the Houston Astros, Kimbrel surrendered three runs in two innings.
Earlier today, a report from USA TODAY indicated the White Sox are planning on exercising Kimbrel’s $16 million option for next season with the intention of trading him. That’s a far cry from what the team hoped for when it added the eight-time All-Star.
The White Sox gave up Nick Madrigal for half a year of Craig Kimbrel and then he pitched to an ERA over 5 as a set up man. Now they’re trading him.
— Gary Sheffield Jr. (@GarysheffieldJr) October 13, 2021
The Phillies were unable to pull off a Craig Kimbrel trade at the deadline but should have another chance this winter. https://t.co/FCwXDdNrLd
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) October 13, 2021
The Chicago White Sox didn’t put Craig Kimbrel in a position to succeed. As a result, this era was short lived! https://t.co/VuOvk4IyRt
— Southside Showdown (@SoxShowdown) October 13, 2021
Craig Kimbrel had a good 2018 season and bad postseason with Boston. He couldn't find a deal until the middle of next season.
Now that he's three years older, the White Sox think a team wants to pay him $16 million after he looked cooked for the last 2.5 months? https://t.co/bRkE3moKNS
— Adam Wells (@adamwells1985) October 13, 2021
Craig Kimbrel was great from 8/14/2020- 7/31/21 (about one full season). He was amazing. Kimbrel ran a 0.72 ERA with 1.07 FIP and a staggering 48.1 K%, but he ran a 8.49 ERA before that and a 5.32 ERA after. I’d be willing to take a chance on him, but there’s definitely risk. https://t.co/9GWXrTgmf8
— Greg Zumach (@IvyFutures) October 13, 2021
In order to land Kimbrel, the White Sox surrendered highly-regarded second baseman Nick Madrigal and hard-throwing reliever Codi Heuer. Those are two solid pieces.
It seems unlikely that Chicago will land anywhere close to that package in return if they deal Kimbrel this offseason, but apparently they are going to try and get what they can.