Cubs reach agreement with closer Craig Kimbrel

Mae Harvey
June 7, 2019

A free agent after helping the Boston Red Sox win the 2018 World Series, Kimbrel had gone unsigned despite his stellar career.

With 333 career saves, Kimbrel is now 14th on the all-time saves list, and even after sitting out the first few weeks of 2019, he has a chance to climb into the top 10 on the saves leaderboard by season's end. Kimbrel struck out 96 batters in 62 1/3 innings. Previously, it was being said that the Atlanta Braves were looking like the frontrunners for Kimbrel and the New York Yankees were the frontrunners for Keuchel.

Further details aren't available at the moment, but Kimbrel should become closer immediately up reaching the big leagues.

A veteran of nine seasons, Kimbrel has led the league in saves on four occasions and is the youngest pitcher in MLB history to record 300 saves. All three of those players are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Craig Kimbrel appears like he's headed to Chicago.

The Cubs have reportedly signed Craig Kimbrel to a multi-year deal. With the draft over, that requirement no longer applied. The Cubs are prepared for him to miss the remainder of the season. 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.

Acquiring Kimbrel was tied to draft pick compensation until Monday, June 3 when the deadline passed for the Red Sox to receive a compensatory pick for the closer.

Maddon said he thought it would take "a minimum of three weeks" for Kimbrel to get ready to pitch out of the Cubs' bullpen.

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