BOSTON (CBS) — The MLB trade deadline is Friday. Nobody knows what the first-place Boston Red Sox and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom will or will not do.

One name that’s come up as a trade possibility around the league, though, is former Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel. With Kimbrel’s Cubs in fourth place in the NL Central, 8.5 games out of the second wild card spot, the All-Star closer figures to be on the move before Friday.

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Whether the Red Sox would actually spend assets to acquire Kimbrel is unclear. Boston’s bullpen is certainly a team strength, and the Red Sox already have an All-Star closer in Matt Barnes.

But when asked this week about the possibility of the Red Sox adding Kimbrel, Barnes showed no hesitancy in deferring the ninth inning to his former teammate, if such a situation does arise.

“Selfishly, would I love to still be the closer? Absolutely. But if I go back to throwing the eighth because the guy throwing the ninth is Craig Kimbrel, I’m totally fine with it. I would welcome him with open arms,” Barnes told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. “He’d make our bullpen deeper. He’d make our team better. It’s about winning as many ballgames as possible and bringing home championships. Obviously I would love to have him. He’s a great person and he’s an absolute stud on the field.”

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Barnes has recorded 22 saves for Boston this year, his first as the full-time closer. He has a 2.36 ERA and an 0.833 WHIP, and he’s posted a 5.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

That performance earned Barnes his first All-Star selection.

Craig Kimbrel, Matt Barnes in 2016 (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

But Kimbrel has been operating on a whole other level. In 39 appearances, he has a 0.49 ERA and a 0.709 WHIP, with 23 saves. He’s allowed just two earned runs all year.

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Obviously, an addition like Kimbrel’s would add to a strength on Boston’s roster, rather than addressing a weakness. But if Bloom does opt to go in that direction, he now at least knows that there will not be a clash of personalities in the clubhouse.

CBSBoston.com Staff