CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox have acquired All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for right-handed pitcher Codi Heuer and second baseman Nick Madrigal.
Kimbrel, 33, is 2-3 with a 0.49 ERA (2 ER/36.2 IP), 64 strikeouts (15.71 per 9.0 IP), 23 saves and a 0.71 WHIP over 39 appearances this season, his third with the Cubs. He leads National League relievers in WHIP, strikeouts per 9.0 IP and opponents average (.106) and is tied for third in saves.
Kimbrel, an eight-time All-Star, is 33-27 with a 2.07 ERA (139 ER/605.1 IP), 990 strikeouts (14.72 per 9.0 IP) and 371 saves in 622 games over 12 major-league seasons with Atlanta (2010-14), San Diego (2015), Boston (2016-18) and the Cubs (2019-21). He ranks second among relievers in major-league history behind Aroldis Chapman in strikeouts per 9.0 IP, third in WHIP (0.94) and ninth in saves.
“We viewed Craig as the premier relief pitcher available at this trade deadline, and so we knew the cost would be steep in terms of parting with young talent,” said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. “But we recognize the special opportunity that currently exists and our team, our clubhouse and our fans deserve to know we will do everything we can to reach the postseason and win meaningful games in October.”
Kimbrel, 6-foot and 215 pounds, has 20 games of postseason experience, posting a 3.68 ERA (10 ER/22.0 IP) with 27 strikeouts and seven saves in seven chances. He won a World Series with Boston in 2018.
Heuer, 25, is 4-1 with a 5.12 ERA (22 ER/38.2 IP), 13 holds and 39 strikeouts in 40 relief appearances this season, his second with the White Sox. He originally was selected by Chicago in the sixth round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of Wichita State.
Madrigal, 24, hit .305 (61-200) with 10 doubles, four triples, two homers, 21 RBI and 30 runs scored in 54 games this season before suffering a season-ending proximal right hamstring tear while running to first base on June 9. Madrigal entered the season rated by both Baseball America and MLB.com as the No. 3 prospect in the Sox system.