The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly eyeing the bullpen of the Chicago Cubs as Friday’s trade deadline approaches. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Saturday that the National League East team is interested in Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Chafin and Ryan Tepera as potential trade targets to bolster its “beleaguered bullpen.” Kimbrel is one of the best closers in the league. He has a resume that includes the 2011 National League Rookie of the Year Award, eight All-Star selections and a World Series title in 2018 with the Boston Red Sox. The right-hander has also bounced back this season with a 0.51 ERA, 0.68 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 35.1 innings after posting a 6.00 ERA and 1.53 WHIP across 2019 and 2020. While Kimbrel would be a major addition, Chafin and Tepera are also talented options who may not cost as much. Chafin in particular has a 1.37 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and 37 strikeouts in 39.1 innings. The southpaw hasn’t allowed a run since a May 7 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tepera has a 3.02 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 48 strikeouts in 41.2 innings. He hasn’t allowed a run in four straight appearances since struggling at the end of June. It is no surprise, then, that Chicago is fourth in the majors in bullpen ERA, per FanGraphs . That stands in stark contrast to Philadelphia, which is 22nd with a 4.64 ERA. The bullpen struggles have prevented the Phillies from making significant strides in the National League East. They are 48-48 and four games behind the New York Mets for first place. Improving their bullpen with any of the Cubs options could help them close that gap.
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