Cubs agree to terms with Kimbrel

Craig Kimbrel

Craig Kimbrel

It is unclear whether he would command that price as an unrestricted free agent. In 532.2 innings, he has yielded 285 hits and 205 walks and struck out 868.

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets also had talks with Kimbrel, among other teams. Kimbrel has a career 1.91 ERA and has converted 333 saves over his nine-year career with the Red Sox, Atlanta Braves and and San Diego Padres. Signing the seven-time All-Star would have been huge for the Twins as their bullpen has taken a step back in recent weeks. All three of those players are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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 2019 MLB Draft concluding this week, that no longer was a requisite.

Cubs in agreement with free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel, pending physical, sources tell The Athletic.

Kimbrel and Keuchel remained on the market in large part because any team signing them before Monday would have had to give up draft-pick compensation due to the fact that both pitchers had been made qualifying offers by their previous teams.

If Zobrist misses the entire year (which is possible), the Cubs will have an extra $9 million to spend.

Brandon Morrow, who was signed to be the closer past year, has not pitched since last July 15 due to injuries. Nonetheless, Chicago was tied for first place with Milwaukee atop the NL Central.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group.