Cubs’ Nick Madrigal, Craig Kimbrel meet for first time since trade

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Trade talk: Kimbrel, Cubs' Madrigal meet for first time originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

As he headed off the field following pregame batting practice Sunday, Nick Madrigal stopped outside the Cubs dugout and reached out for a handshake.

The person on the other end of that handshake? Craig Kimbrel.

“That was the first time I met him,” Kimbrel said of Madrigal. “He came up to me and introduced himself, asked me how I like it in LA.

“I asked him how he likes it over here, and he said he likes it a lot.”

Kimbrel and Madrigal are forever linked in Chicago baseball history. The Cubs traded the veteran closer to the White Sox last summer in a deal that brought Madrigal and Codi Heuer to the North Side.

Kimbrel actually returned to Wrigley last season after the trade, when the Sox visited in August, but Madrigal was in Arizona recovering from a season-ending hamstring injury.

Kimbrel was happy the two finally made their introductions.

“I’m glad he came up to me,” Kimbrel said. “It was nice to meet him.”

As for which player will be the answer to the other’s trivia question 20 years from now, stay tuned. Kimbrel struggled pitching as a setup man for the White Sox but is on a Hall of Fame trajectory, and the Cubs’ are high on Madrigal’s elite bat-to-ball skills.

“He’s a tremendous ballplayer, has a lot of talent,” Kimbrel said of Madrigal. “Just hope he doesn’t [show it] when I’m on the mound.”

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