Chicago Cubs finally sign All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel

Chicago Cubs (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs have addressed a huge need to shore up their bullpen and are reportedly in agreement to sign free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel.

The Chicago Cubs have reportedly agreed to sign free-agent closer, Craig Kimbrel. The former Red Sox closer was sitting out this season due to his asking price of a three-year deal between $40-$50 million and the fact that he had a compensatory draft pick tied to him.

Any team could sign him beginning Monday without having to give up a draft pick and the Cubs were reportedly in talks with Kimbrel. The Athletic published an article indicating that the Cubs had strong interest in Kimbrel due to the fact that Ben Zobrist was on the (unpaid) restricted list. Essentially it means the Cubs are re-allocating Zobrist’s salary to Kimbrel, which likely points to the 2016 World Series MVP not returning this year in his final season under contract with the team.

My personal thought on this was that the Cubs needed to sign Kimbrel. The team had the second most blown saves in baseball and fell out of first place earlier this week after being swept by the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cubs recently got Pedro Strop back from the injured list after he sustained another hamstring injury back in early May. Strop alone would not solve the bullpen issues especially with Brandon Morrow‘s timetable still being unknown.

In what figures to be a tight National League Central division race, every game will matter and the Cubs needed to get this signing done. If the Cubs can somehow get Brandon Morrow back for any period of time for the last couple of months, this bullpen has the potential to be really strong.

Kimbrel is a seven-time All-Star and has 333 career saves between the Padres, Braves, and Red Sox in 9 seasons to go along with an absurd 1.91 ERA in his career.

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Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic is also reporting that the Cubs have a multi-year deal with Kimbrel. The Cubs had to get this signing done and they did.

We’ll find out more about the timetable of when to expect Craig Kimbrel to make his Cubs debut shortly. For now, enjoy this signing Cubs fans.