Despite the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen having six relievers on the injured list, with the potential for seven with Seranthony Dominguez (mild strain in right elbow) set to undergo an MRI on Thursday, the club opted not to splurge with a "band-aid," albeit expensive, fix by signing seven-time All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel.
Ultimately, after holding out nearly three months into the season, the 31-year-old inked a three-year deal, through 2021, worth "close to $45 million" on Wednesday with the National League Central-leading Chicago Cubs, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. Because Kimbrel was signed after June 3 (and the 2019 MLB Draft), Kimbrel's 2018 team in the Boston Red Sox will not receive draft pick compensation from the Cubs.
Kimbrel’s reported 3 year $43M contract (likely before proration) makes him the 4th highest average paid closer in #MLB.— Spotrac (@spotrac) June 6, 2019
Wade Davis: $17.3M
Aroldis Chapman: $17.2M
Kenley Jansen: $16M
Craig Kimbrel: $14.3M
According to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, the Phillies "expressed some interest" in the right-hander, "but only on a one-year deal."
Through 367 career save opportunities, Kimbrel has blown just 34 saves (90.7 percent success rate), while logging a 1.91 ERA and 0.920 WHIP spanning nine seasons with the Atlanta Braves (2010-14), San Diego Padres (2015) and Red Sox (2016-18). Kimbrel notched his first World Series championship with the Red Sox last season.
Kimbrel, Cole Hamels and the Cubs will play a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park on August 13-15, and possibly again come "Red October."