Cubs Agree to 3-Year, $43M Deal with Closer Craig Kimbrel (Updated)

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs have reached an agreement with Craig Kimbrel. The deal is pending a physical and terms have not yet been revealed, but stay tuned and we’ll update this post with more as it becomes available.

Update: Rosenthal is reporting that it’s a multi-year deal.

Update #2: Rosenthal now tweets that the deal is for three years and around $45 million ($15M AAV). That’s about halfway between the $39-52 million range Kimbrel had reportedly been seeking and could actually amount to less total money if it’s prorated. More on that as it’s available.

There’d been some speculation about a possible one-year “pillow” deal that would allow him to land softly while rebuilding his value, but that wouldn’t make much sense for Kimbrel. Given his time away and the uncertainty of the rest of the season, he’d want to guarantee a little more security beyond 2019.

Update #3: Jon Heyman is reporting that the deal is for a total of $43 million through 2021, with potential offsets from Zobrist’s salary that could make this season a virtual wash.

Update #4: ESPN’s Jeff Passan adds that the deal is for $10 million this season and $16 million over each of the next two, with a $1 million buyout on a club/vesting option on a fourth year. Sign me up.

Update #5: Heyman confirms the figures an puts the fourth year at $16 million, which can vest as a player option based on as-yet-unknown performance numbers. If it doesn’t vest, that figure becomes a club option with a $1 million buyout.

As for Kimbrel’s readiness, Passan reports that he could join the Cubs in less than two weeks. His stuff “has been electric” in recent workouts and his limited role means he doesn’t need to be stretched out for long outings.

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