BOOM! CUBS REPORTEDLY SIGNING CRAIG KIMBREL! (UPDATE: 3 Years, $43 Million, Plus Option)

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BOOM! CUBS REPORTEDLY SIGNING CRAIG KIMBREL! (UPDATE: 3 Years, $43 Million, Plus Option)

Chicago Cubs

Did I use enough capital letters there? Still feels like it needs more, because this is huge:

Rosenthal reported earlier today that the Cubs were “pushing hard” for free agent closer Craig Kimbrel, and there must have been just a few details to work out – because now it’s reportedly happening.

Kimbrel, 31, reportedly sought the largest reliever contract in free agent history in the offseason, but when that market never developed and the waiting game extended well into the regular season, it became a cinch that he wouldn’t sign until this week’s draft. He does not cost the Cubs draft pick compensation.

Although he did suffer some command issues late in the year and in the postseason, Kimbrel was still very effective overall last year (and was absurdly dominant as recently as 2017). There is risk here, as we’ve discussed, and Kimbrel may ultimately be no more than a solid addition, but you gotta love the track record:

It will take several weeks for Kimbrel to be ready to roll in the Cubs’ bullpen, but once there, he will assume the closer’s duties. If he is the guy he can be, then this move not only helps the Cubs big time in the second half, it also sets them up to be GREATLY improved in the postseason.

UPDATE: As expected, Kimbrel wanted more than just a partial one-year deal:

The Cubs have the money and the need beyond this year, so that’s just fine and dandy by me.

UPDATE 2: Even if this isn’t prorated in 2019 for the missed time, it’s still a very good roll of the dice for a guy like Kimbrel:

And if it is prorated? Steal.

UPDATE 3: Jon Heyman has a slightly different number:

That suggests to me that the first year probably is a little bit less than the latter two years.

UPDATE 4: Jeff Passan with the full details, including an option for 2022:

Basically, Kimbrel is getting $16 million per year on the deal, but this year’s chunk is prorated to $10 million because of the time he’s missing.


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.