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Cubs Sign Craig Kimbrel To 3 Years $43 Million

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  • Cubs Sign Craig Kimbrel To 3 Years $43 Million

    Source: Cubs, Kimbrel reach 3-year, $43M deal

    Craig Kimbrel finally has a new home. The All-Star closer and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a three-year, $43 million deal, ESPN has confirmed, ending a seven-month free agency for one of baseball's best bullpen arms.

    Kimbrel will earn $10 million this season and $16 million in 2020 and 2021. There is a $1 million buyout on a club/vesting option for the fourth year.

    Kimbrel, a seven-time All-Star, struggled at times for the Boston Red Sox in 2018 but finished the regular season with 42 saves, a 2.74 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 62⅓ innings pitched.

    The 31-year-old Kimbrel has a career ERA of 1.91, the lowest among relievers in MLB history with 300 career innings pitched. He has 333 saves -- he's the youngest pitcher in MLB history to reach 300 saves -- and has 868 strikeouts in 532⅔ innings pitched. In addition, his rate of 14.7 strikeouts per nine innings is the best among major league pitchers with at least 500 career innings.

    Kimbrel, the National League Rookie of the Year in 2011, led the NL in saves in his first four seasons with Atlanta Braves and signed a four-year, $42 million contract prior to the 2014 season. He was traded on the eve of the 2015 season to the San Diego Padres, who in 2016 traded Kimbrel to the Red Sox. In Boston, he logged his career-best season in 2017 before experiencing a slight dip in fastball velocity in 2018.