Padres: Three closers San Diego could trade for not named Josh Hader

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Cubs / Craig Kimbrel
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Padres could snag Craig Kimbrel if he proves he’s effective and healthy

Now if you look at his baseball card numbers from the last two seasons, you probably want to punch me in the throat for suggesting Craig Kimbrel. But there’s more to this one than meets the eye.

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Down the stretch last summer, the veteran right-hander suddenly got back on track after really struggling in a Cubs uniform. Over his final 14 appearances, Kimbrel worked to a 1.42 ERA and limited opposing hitters to a .098/.245/.098 line. The dude was filthy – and the numbers bore that out.

Chicago has decided to act like a small-market team. Nobody is more aware of that than the Padres, who gave up next-to-nothing in the Yu Darvish trade this winter.

Kimbrel is in the final year of his contract and is poised to make $16 million. If he’s dealing again in the first half, you know the Cubs will do just about anything to shed his contract.

Enter San Diego, who could ride that hot hand deep into October – where Kimbrel has plenty of experience in his lengthy career. Then, for just $1 million, buy him out of his option for 2022 and send him on his way. Sound like a plan?