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MLB Rumors: Craig Kimbrel, Chicago Cubs agree on deal

Per Ken Rosenthal, the Chicago Cubs and free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel have agreed to a multi-year deal

Texas Rangers v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

MLB Rumors: Craig Kimbrel and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a multi-year deal, according to Ken Rosenthal on Twitter.

This would bring an end to the Kimbrel free agent saga, which has been dragging on for almost eight months. Kimbrel was viewed as one of the top relief pitchers on the market this offseason, and was reportedly seeking a deal similar to what Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman recently received.

However, the closer market (and free agent market in general) has cooled somewhat since those two were signed, and Kimbrel’s decline in velocity, together with concerns about his health, were seen as red flags by teams leery to spend big on a closer, and by the time he started backing off his asking price, reports indicated, most teams had already moved on.

Or that’s one point of view. Others see Kimbrel as the victim of teams refusing to spend reasonable amounts on quality players, and possibly the victim of collusion.

A team wanting to sign Kimbrel prior to June 3 would have forfeited a draft pick, so once he went into the season unsigned, it was generally expected that he would wait until draft compensation lifted to sign, since that would make him more attractive to teams.

UPDATE — The Kimbrel deal is reportedly 3 years, $43 million. Ken Rosenthal says it is $10 million this year, $16 million in 2020 and 2021, and there is a vesting option with a $1 million buyout for 2022.