Cubs Sign Craig Kimbrel To A Three-Year 43 Million Dollar Deal

Cubs Sign Craig Kimbrel To A Three-Year 43 Million Dollar Deal

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.

The quartet was among the players who were hurt by another free agency freeze, and while Harper and Machado eventually signed lucrative contracts, Keuchel and Kimbrel remained available as Spring Training and the 2019 regular season began.

Update: Rosenthal is reporting that it's a multi-year deal.

Ken Rosenthal, who broke the story of Kimbrel's agreement with the Cubs, reported Wednesday morning that Chicago was "pushing hard" for Kimbrel in an attempt to upgrade a bullpen that has been without closer Brandon Morrow this season.

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.

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Kimbrel posted a 2.74 ERA with 42 saves for the Boston Red Sox in 2018. Signing the seven-time All-Star would have been huge for the Twins as their bullpen has taken a step back in recent weeks.

The acquisition of Kimbrel almost two months before the trade deadline stressed the importance of beating the competition for the prime reliever in a shallow market. With the draft over, that requirement no longer applied. That has apparently given the front office even more financial flexibility to go out and sign Kimbrel. The Cubs are prepared for him to miss the remainder of the season.

The Cubs entered Wednesday with a 33-26 record, in a virtual tie with the Milwaukee Brewers for the NL Central lead. Morrow hasn't pitched this season because of an elbow injury, and Strop pitched on Tuesday for the first time in nearly one month after being sidelined by a hamstring injury.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group.