Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Cubs, Closer Craig Kimbrel Reach Deal

June 05, 2019 - 8:07 pm
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(670 The Score) -- The Cubs have agreed to terms with seven-time All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel on a multi-year deal, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported.

Full contract details of the deal between the Cubs and Kimbrel are not yet known. It is pending a physical. The Cubs were in the second inning of play against the Rockies when news broke of Kimbrel's agreement in Chicago.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein declined to discuss Kimbrel specifically speaking with reporters prior to Wednesday's game. However, he reiterated the club's hopes to act aggressively in addressing needs in the bullpen -- specifically at the position of closer. Cubs manager Joe Maddon spoke directly of the possibility to add Kimbrel.

"Anybody would be excited to get a guy of his ilk in the bullpen, there's no question about it," Maddon said. "Quite frankly, pragmatically, I am just dealing with what we have right now (in our bullpen). 

"We you're able to lengthen the bullpen, man, with a really quality guys at the end, you can shorten a game. There's no question that you can shorten a game. The Yankees have done that for the last several years."

Kimbrel unsigned this past offseason after posting a 2.74 ERA and 0.99 WHIP and converting 42 of 47 save chances for the champion Red Sox in 2018. With the amateur draft now having taken place, Kimbrel was no longer attached to draft pick compensation as a penalty for the team that signs him.

The Cubs found themselves with a need at closer with Brandon Morrow still on the injured list still recovering from offseason elbow surgery. Signed to a two-year deal in the 2018 offseason, Morrow has not pitched since July 15 of last year. The Cubs activated Pedro Strop off the injured list on Tuesday after he recovered from a hamstring injury.

The Cubs have coverted 12 of their 23 save opportunities this season. Kimbrel, 31, has a career 1.91 ERA and 0.92 WHIP to go with 14.7 strikeouts per nine innings.