The Chicago Cubs traded Craig Kimbrel to the Chicago White Sox back in 2021. Initially the move looked like a win-win, but is that still the case with Nick Madrigal's struggles?
A crosstown trade between the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs is rare, but in recent history it's involved a clear winner and loser of said deal. The 2021 trade which sent Craig Kimbrel to the south side, however, may be a rare exception.
The trade was as follows:
At the time, Heuer was more of a project, as he had an ERA over five with the Chicago White Sox. As for Madrigal, he was the real jewel of this trade for the Cubs.
"We knew that in the end we were going to have to make a very strong offer to get a player like Craig Kimbrel," Rick Hahn said at the time. "We made a conscious decision to prioritize today over the distant future. There was always going to come a point in the rebuilding process where we had an opportunity to win. We've had to maximize those opportunities."
At the time of the trade, Madrigal had a slash line of .305/.349/.425 in 45 games. He was only 24 years old, and seemingly a key piece of Chicago's future infield. Unfortunately, that hasn't materialized.
Craig Kimbrel was brutal with the White Sox. With the Cubs, he had 23 saves and a 0.49 ERA at the time of the trade. Once he headed to the south side, Kimbrel struggled to find the strike zone, and pitched to a 5.09 ERA. That stark difference made it look like the White Sox were fleeced by their Chicago neighbors.
That really hasn't been the case, though. As good as Heuer looked with the Cubs in 2021, he underwent Tommy John surgery shortly thereafter and is nearing a return, finally. Madrigal was sent down to the minor leagues on Thursday as part of a corresponding move to call up Kyle Hendriks.
Madrigal has been among the biggest disappointments on the north side. Despite showing so much promise with the White Sox, he just hasn't been able to find his groove. With the emergence of Christopher Morel at third base, there isn't a spot for him in Chicago's starting lineup.
Perhaps he'll rediscover himself in Iowa, but for now, this trade looks like a wash.2023-05-25T20:56:47Z dg43tfdfdgfd