Boston Red Sox

Oct 18, 2018; Houston, TX: Boston Red Sox pitcher Craig Kimbrel throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros in game five of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

By Matt McCarthy,

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.

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.

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.

The Cubs lead the Brewers by one game in the National League Central.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.