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Chicago Cubs news: Cubs sign free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel

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The Cubs have landed one of the best relief pitchers in the game

World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Four Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

According the The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs have reached an agreement to sign free agent closer Craig Kimbrel.

Kimbrel has been one of the best and maybe the best relief pitcher in baseball since he took over as the Braves closer in 2011. Over the past nine seasons, he has 333 saves and a 1.91 career ERA. Last season, in a “down” year, Kimbrel saved 42 games in 45 attempts and posted an ERA of 2.74. He struck out 96 batters in 62 13 innings.

Just how good has Kimbrel been over the course of his career?

Kimbrel had remained unsigned until now as no team was willing to both meet his asking price and sacrifice a draft pick. But with the draft pick penalty now gone, the Cubs and Kimbrel were able to come to an agreement.

Terms of the contract are not yet known. This piece will be updated when more information becomes available.

UPDATE: First word on terms

One would assume that this year of the deal would be prorated, but we’ll find out more soon.

2nd Update:

Heyman has more details.

That sounds like what the deal is when this season is prorated, but again, we don’t know yet.

3rd Update:

Dep has these details in the comments, but here it is up top.

Also, Passan is reporting that Kimbrel has looked “electric” in workout showcases and may not need much time before getting major-league ready. He reports that June 20 for Kimbrel’s debut is not unreasonable. The Cubs play the Mets at Wrigley that day.