Cubs reach three-year, $43 million deal with closer Craig Kimbrel

Cubs reach three-year, $43 million deal with closer Craig Kimbrel

By agreeing to terms with Kimbrel after Sunday night, the Cubs - or any team that signed him - would not lose a draft pick.

The deal would end a freaky offseason for Kimbrel, the top reliever on the free-agent market who hadn't signed since helping the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series.

According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, the Chicago Cubs and Craig Kimbrel have agreed to a contract. The team has yet to confirm the move. The yoke of draft-pick compensation was one of several factors that slowed Kimbrel's market over the winter. The Cubs signed Brandon Morrow to be their closer but he has been injury plagued over the a year ago. Their 1.88 K/BB ratio is a bit of an eyesore too. Chicago had initially inserted Pedro Strop into the closer role, with the expectation that Brandon Morrow would resume those duties as soon as he was healthy. That has apparently given the front office even more financial flexibility to go out and sign Kimbrel.

Adding Kimbrel to the bullpen would be a massive upgrade for a Cubs team that's lacked a steady late-game presence in 2019. His arm is in shape and that's half the battle. And that boost could come quickly; his agent Scott Boras said last week that Keuchel has been throwing simulated games and shouldn't need more than a week to get ready after signing.

More news: Google takes pre-orders for game streaming service launching November

The Cubs are now 33-26 and in first place in the NL Central.

Kimbrel - who never has had fewer than 31 saves since 2011, his second season - has 333 career saves.

Kimbrel saved 42 games for the Red Sox a year ago, posting a 2.74 ERA while being named an All-Star for the seventh time in eight seasons.

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