Cubs "Pushing Hard" To Sign Craig Kimbrel

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Free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel appears to be moving closer to a decision, and while we don't know who's still in the running, we're getting some hints on who isn't. Starting this week, a team could sign him without the loss of amateur draft picks or worldwide signing bonus pool allocation.

The veteran closer reached a three-year deal worth $43 million with the Cubs, according to multiple reports. The team has not yet confirmed the signing.

In 63 appearances in 2018, Kimbrel was 5-1 with 42 saves and a 2.74 earned run average and WHIP of 0.995 over 62.1 innings pitched.

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The 2019 amateur draft took place earlier this week, meaning Kimbrel (and Dallas Keuchel) is no longer tied to draft pick compensation. Chicago had initially inserted Pedro Strop into the closer role, with the expectation that Brandon Morrow would resume those duties as soon as he was healthy.

The Cubs were in desperate need of bullpen help, having gone 12-for-23 in save chances this season. He remains out of the lineup on personal leave in which he's not being paid, meaning the Cubs could use that money to sign Kimbrel.

With Kimbrel joining the mix, the Cubs might be the most complete team in the National League.

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The Cubs go into Wednesday's game with 33-26 record that had them percentage points ahead of the Brewers in the NL Central.

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The Cubs' boldness puts more scrutiny on the Cardinals' cautious front-office approach that is personified by president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.

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