The Chicago Cubs signed veteran All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel to a three-year deal on Wednesday.
Take a deep breath people, the Craig Kimbrel saga is over! He finally signed a three-year deal with the Chicago Cubs, worth $43 million. There are a lot of different factors that played into the Cubs finally signing him.
One of which was the financial ability having Ben Zobrist on the restricted list while he attends to a family issue. Another was the fact that signing him no longer came with losing a draft pick.
This signing for the Cubs instantly makes their bullpen stronger and just adds to their World Series aspirations. I think this is a great signing for the Cubs and the timing will allow them to integrate him into their clubhouse for the tough summer stretch and the pennant race.
Kimbrel brings stability to a Cubs’ bullpen which has struggled with injuries and consistency. Their closer, Brandon Morrow, has been on the injured list since the beginning of the season and his return is still in question. He remains on the 60-day injured list.
Kimbrel, who spent last year with the Red Sox, brings an impressive resume to Chicago. He has a career ERA of 1.91 over his 9 years. He also has 333 saves and 886 strikeouts in 532.2 innings pitched.
He also led the league in saves from 2011 to 2014 and is a 7-time All Star. He has plenty of postseason experience, a plus for any team looking to make a World Series run.
He joins a bullpen which includes Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr., and Brad Bach. The bullpen has unfortunately blown 12 saves so far this year in 25 opportunities. The best thing for them is this allows all members of the bullpen to resume their normal roles.
Kimbrel, a member of last year’s World Champion Boston Red Sox, has gone unsigned all season after asking what many people considered to be too much, but the Chicago Cubs bullpen needs finally outweighed those concerns.