At last, the Craig Kimbrel sweepstakes are over. Kimbrel has been reported to be seeking a three-year pact, so it's possible that the Cubs could backload a multi-year offer to ease up on the financial burden for the current season, but they'd still pay a 32 percent luxury tax on the average annual value of Kimbrel's contract.
The veteran closer reached a three-year deal worth $43 million with the Cubs, according to multiple reports. He will get $16 million in 2020 and 2021, and the extra $1 million is guaranteed via the buyout on a fourth-year option.
A native of Huntsville, AL, Kimbrel was one of the two high-profile remaining free agents left unsigned along with starter Dallas Keuchel, who has yet to sign with a team. The Yankees were reportedly the team in the lead for Keuchel.More news: Zdeno Chara questionable to play in Game 5
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Closing pitcher Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Boston Red Sox pumps his fist after the last out of the ninth inning to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-6 in Game Four of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 27, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
The Cubs' boldness puts more scrutiny on the Cardinals' cautious front-office approach that is personified by president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.
Since Brandon Morrow suffered an elbow injury midway through last season, the Cubs have piecemealed the back end of their bullpen. Nonetheless, Chicago was tied for first place with Milwaukee atop the NL Central.