Chicago Cubs: 3 takeaways from Kimbrel press conference

Chicago Cubs (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs Theo Epstein
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The Chicago Cubs addressed a need to find a closer by signing free-agent Craig Kimbrel. Here are three takeaways from his introductory press conference.

The Chicago Cubs made a big move on Wednesday night during their game against the Rockies and agreed to a deal with free agent closer, Craig Kimbrel. The former Red Sox pitcher was sitting out for part of this season due to his asking price and the fact that he had a compensatory pick tied to him.

As of Monday, it was fair game for all Major League team to sign Kimbrel without having to give up a draft pick. The Cubs emerged as the favorites late Monday night and the news broke a couple days later.

Plain and simple, the Cubs had to get this deal done. Entering Wednesday evening, the Cubs were second in all of baseball with 12 blown saves in 25 opportunities. That is not good enough for what figures to be a tight National League Central division race all the way to end.

Pedro Strop had been filling in as the closer until he got hurt on May 6 and then Joe Maddon went with a closer-by-committee situation with Brandon Morrow still being out. Strop returned on Wednesday evening and locked down the save but he has pitched better as an 8th inning setup man.

The signing of Kimbrel allows Strop to return to his natural role with Cishek, Edwards, etc taking the 7th inning. When asked about the signing of Craig Kimbrel, you have to love Strop’s selflessness:

"“They can add any pieces that they can add to help us win games,” he said. “That’s what makes us happy, not only me, but all the boys. We’re really happy we’re going to have a guy that makes our bullpen way deeper. We’ll have a closer type working in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. How could anybody get mad at that? This sure is really good.” – Chicago Tribune"

Kimbrel was introduced to the Cubs media on Friday before the series opener against the Cardinals and here were the three takeaways I gathered from it.