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After months of anticipation on where he would land, closer Craig Kimbrel has finally made a decision on where he’d call home. He agreed to a three-year, close to $45 million contract with the Chicago Cubs. He’ll take over the Cubs closer role which to this point has been a closer by committee ordeal.
Kimbrel, 31, is preparing to join the fourth team of his career. He started with the Atlanta Braves in 2010 where he was the National League’s save leader from 2011-2014. Following the 2014 season he was packaged with other players to the San Diego Padres for a year before being shipped off to the Boston Red Sox. In Boston he would help lead the Red Sox to the playoffs every year he was there including helping them win the World Series in 2018.
Through nine years, Kimbrel is a seven time All-Star, a four time National League saves leader, a two time Reliever of the year and a World Series champion. He has an earned run average of 1.91, which is considered good for a closer. His 333 career saves put him 14th on the all time saves list.
Kimbrel turned down Boston’s qualifying offer of one-year, $17.9 in the offseason. While the market never really panned out, he had plenty of potential suitors including Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Washington and Milwaukee.
The deal with the Cubs will become official, following a physical.