White Sox acquire All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel from Cubs in rare crosstown trade

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By , 670 The Score

(670 The Score) For the second straight day, the Cubs and White Sox on Friday agreed to a trade. This one was of the blockbuster variety.

The Cubs will trade All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel to the White Sox, according to multiple reports. The addition gives the championship-contending White Sox a dynamic tandem at the back end of their bullpen, as they already had an All-Star closer of their own in Liam Hendriks.

In return, the White Sox will send second baseman Nick Madrigal and right-hander Codi Heuer to the Cubs, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Kimbrel, 33, was a hot commodity on the trade market because of his dominance this season. Kimbrel has a 0.49 ERA and 0.71 WHIP while striking out 64 batters in 36 2/3 innings across 39 appearances.

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Madrigal, 24, hit .305 with two homers, 21 RBIs and a .774 OPS in 54 games in 2021 before undergoing season-ending hamstring surgery in June. He's expected to be healthy for spring training in 2022. The White Sox selected Madrigal in the at No. 4 overall in the first round of the 2018 amateur draft.

Heuer, 25, has great stuff but struggled this season, posting a 5.12 ERA in 40 appearances and squandering his opportunity to be a trusted member of the White Sox's bullpen. He had a strong 2020 season, posting a 1.52 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 21 appearances. All 61 of his career appearances in two MLB seasons have been in relief.

The Cubs signed Kimbrel to a three-year, $43-million deal in June 2019. The intention was for Kimbrel to serve as the lockdown closer for a team with championship aspirations, but he struggled in 2019 while the Cubs floundered late and missed the playoffs. Kimbrel regained his superb form in 2020 and has followed that up with an even better season, but he was ticketed to leave town as soon as the Cubs fell out of playoff contention. His contract includes a $16-million team option for 2022.

On Thursday, the White Sox acquired reliever Ryan Tepera from the Cubs in exchange for a minor league pitcher.

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