MLB Rumors: Latest on Craig Kimbrel Trade Buzz, Billy Beane and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2021

MLB Rumors: Latest on Craig Kimbrel Trade Buzz, Billy Beane and More

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    The postseason continues in Major League Baseball, and the league championship round is set to get underway. While the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros are still alive for the World Series, the rest of baseball has turned its attention to the coming offseason.

    Teams have some tough decisions ahead of them, including player options, player acquisitions and—for some, anyway—the construction of new front-offices and coaching staffs.

    Here, we'll dig into some of the latest MLB buzz.

Chicago Expected to Trade Kimbrel

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    The Chicago White Sox saw their season come to an end on Tuesday, dropping a 3-1 series to Houston. Now, it's on to the offseason, where the future of pitcher Craig Kimbrel will be decided.

    Kimbrel, an eight-time All-Star, was acquired from the Chicago Cubs in July. He helped Chicago reach the playoffs, but now the White Sox are staring down a $16 million club option for the 2022 season. According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, Chicago plans to exercise that option, but with a catch.

    "The Chicago White Sox are expected to pick up reliever Craig Kimbrel's $16 million option and then trade him during the winter," Nightengale tweeted.

    As Nightengale went on to point out, Kimbrel wasn't particularly impressive as part of the White Sox's rotation. He allowed 31 base-runners in 23 innings as a setup man and posted an ERA of 5.09.

    Still, teams will be interested in acquiring Kimbrel. He posted an ERA of just 0.49 earlier in the year with the Cubs and appeared in the All-Star game before being traded.

Billy Beane May Be Interested in Mets Job

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    The New York Mets failed to make the postseason, finishing with a 77-85 record. Unsurprisingly, the franchise is looking to make some significant changes, and it has targeted Oakland Athletics vice president Billy Beane for its front office.

    Beane, who has been in his current role since 2015, may be interested in taking on the Mets challenge.

    "In the last few days I've now spoken to two long-time friends of Billy Beane who say he's very much open to the idea of becoming pres. of bb ops for Mets," John Harper of SNY tweeted.

    Andy Martino of SNY, however, reported that there are conflicting opinions about Beane's willingness to leave Oakland.

    "We hear from people close to Beane that he is ready to move on from the spendthrift A’s. Others in touch with Beane express doubt that he would move from California," Martino wrote.

    Martino also noted that the Mets are looking to keep their search for a new president of baseball operations "underground," so we may not get any definitive information about Beane's interest until/unless he ultimately takes the job.

Padres Had Interest in Anthony Rizzo Before Deadline

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    First baseman Anthony Rizzo ultimately ended up with the New York Yankees at the trade deadline. He was acquired from the Cubs and went on to play 49 games with New York. However, the Yankees were not the only team interested in Rizzo.

    According to The Athletic's Dennis Lin, the San Diego Padres were interested in acquiring Rizzo during the season.

    "The Padres spoke with the Cubs in July about a potential deal," Lin wrote.

    Lin also expects the Padres to show interest in Rizzo as a free agent during the offseason. Interestingly, Rizzo began his major-league career with the Padres back in 2011. He was traded to Chicago the following season and went on to become a three-time All-Star and a World Series champion.

    Rizzo finished the 2021 regular season with a .344 on-base percentage.

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