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The Cubs have been a frequent topic of conversation this year (and the last couple) when it comes to the trade market. If they continue to be competitive, it’s certainly difficult to imagine a sell-off of their big brand stars. One interesting suggestion making the rounds (most recently from Jesse Rogers on ESPN) is that Chicago could continue to walk-the-line between short-and-long-term planning by trading star closer Craig Kimbrel. With Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, and Tommy Nance providing good work out of the pen, the Cubs could conceivably back-fill the closer spot while adding to the farm system.

There would certainly be interest in Kimbrel, who appears back to his old self. The 33-year-old has locked down 14 saves in 24 appearances with a 0.75 ERA/1.27 FIP, stellar 45.1 percent strikeout rate, and much-improved 8.8 percent walk rate, his lowest such mark since 2017. He’ll be a name to watch, but for now, Kimbrel’s not going anywhere. The Cubs are more focused on getting healthy. On that front…

  • Javier Baez buzzed his right hand hitting the ball off the end of the bat in San Francisco. His wrist, hand, and thumb were sore. He will be looked at further when the team arrives in San Diego, per’s Jordan Bastian (via Twitter). It does not sound like a significant injury, which is good for the Cubs, as they’re already a little short-handed in the infield with David Bote, Nico Hoerner, and Matt Duffy on the injured list. Sergio Alcantara and Eric Sogard will have to stand in at shortstop if Baez misses any time.
  • Joc Pederson is also day-to-day after tweaking his back, per Pederson left Saturday’s game in San Francisco after running into the wall on an Alex Dickerson home run. Rafael Ortega has been seeing playing time in the outfield for the past couple of days.
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