Ahead of Major League Baseball's July 30 trade deadline, here's a look at the five best relief pitchers available on the market...
5. Dylan Floro, Miami Marlins
Floro was part of the Los Angeles Dodgers team that won the World Series a year ago, and figures to be inserted into another pennant race in the coming days. The 30-year-old has a 2.70 ERA, 2.65 FIP and 0.9 fWAR for the Marlins in 2021. He's not going to close for you, but he'll sure up your middle relief. He also has two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
4. Ian Kennedy, Texas Rangers
With a 2.59 ERA and 3.79 FIP in 31 games, Kennedy is having one of his best seasons as a reliever. The 36-year-old would be a rental, one with the ability to close or set-up. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported earlier this month that the defending World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers have interest in Kennedy.
3. Daniel Hudson, Washington Nationals
It's funny, a decade ago, Hudson and the aforementioned Kennedy were exciting young starters for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Now, they both find themselves among the most attractive trade options on the relief market. Hudson, 34, would be a rental, but one with pretty extensive postseason experience. Hudson has a 2.20 ERA in 31 games this season, making him the most interesting trade candidate in the Nationals bullpen, given that Brad Hand has had something of a down year.
2. Richard Rodríguez, Pittsburgh Pirates
Rodríguez, 31, perhaps should have been an All-Star in what's been a career year. Regardless, he's an especially enticing trade candidate because he has a 2.82 ERA and 2.58 FIP in 37 games this year. He has experience closing, but also pitching in other roles out of the bullpen. Rodríguez also has two remaining years of arbitration eligibility, which only enhances his trade candidacy. Audacy Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman reported late last month that the Toronto Blue Jays had interest in Rodríguez, with MLB.com's Jon Morosi adding the Oakland Athletics to the list of confirmed suitors earlier this week. 93.7 The Fan's Jason Mackey has since written that the Philadelphia Phillies are interested as well.
1. Craig Kimbrel, Chicago Cubs
Kimbrel is one of the greatest closers in MLB history, and is in the midst of his finest campaign in years. The eight-time All-Star has 23 saves in 25 opportunities, while posting a minuscule 0.49 ERA. His contract also includes a $16 million club option for 2022, which seems like a no-brainer to pick up at this point. Just about every contending team you could imagine makes sense for Kimbrel, but he's been connected to the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies recently.