By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com
Craig Kimbrel entered last offseason looking for a record-breaking six-year contract worth north of $100 million.
He ultimately got less than half of that.
Kimbrel’s long search for his new home is over. He has struck a three-year, $43 million deal with the Chicago Cubs, ending one of the longest free agent sagas for a star player in baseball history.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to break the news.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Kimbrel will be paid $10 million this year, with $16 million due the next two years.
Craig Kimbrel's deal with the Chicago Cubs is for three years and $43 million and includes a fourth-year option, sources tell ESPN. He'll receive $10 million this season and $16 million in 2020 and 2021. There is a $1 million buyout on a club/vesting option for the fourth year.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 6, 2019
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported the fourth year vesting option is worth $16 million.
Kimbrel’s market dried up quickly last offseason and didn’t seem to pick up until this week, after he was freed from draft pick compensation. Before Monday, the first day of the MLB Draft, teams that signed Kimbrel would have had to forfeit a top pick and the Red Sox would have received a compensatory selection for their former closer’s departure.
The Cubs reportedly landed Kimbrel due to their willingness to offer him three years. The Minnesota Twins, the team with the best record in baseball, apparently only offered two years to the seven-time All-Star.
Have heard #MNTwins were willing to go 2 years on Craig Kimbrel. Weren’t willing to go the 3rd and Cubs were.— Dan Hayes (@DanHayesMLB) June 6, 2019
The Phillies, Braves, and Rays were also teams that had been linked to Kimbrel in recent weeks.
Kimbrel hasn’t pitched since last October, but according to Passan, he could be ready to join the Cubs shortly.
Craig Kimbrel could be with the Chicago Cubs sooner than later. In recent workouts showcasing his stuff for teams, Kimbrel has been electric. His physical is Thursday, sources tell ESPN, and him joining the Cubs before June 20 is a realistic goal.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 6, 2019
The Cubs lead the Brewers by one game in the National League Central.