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Craig Kimbrel to Get First Cubs Game Action With Triple-A Affiliate

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 07: Craig Kimbrel of the Chicago Cubs with his wife Ashley and their daughter Lydia Joy, 19mts following an introductory press conference at Wrigley Field on June 07, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Nuccio DiNuzzo

After waiting until June before signing a long-term contract, All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel finally agreed to a three-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.

In order to help Kimbrel shake off some of the rust, the Cubs are sending him to their Triple-A team in Iowa so he can regain control of his 100 MPH heater and 87 MPH, knee-breaking knuckle curveball.

A seven-time All-Star with more career saves (333) than hits allowed (285), Kimbrel and Atlanta Braves starter Dallas Keuchel remained unsigned until June, when whomever signed them could no longer lose a first round pick.

That wait was the very definition of egregious, as Kimbrel has been the best reliever in baseball for the last decade. For a Cubs team who badly needed bullpen stability, his presence in a few weeks time will be much needed.

The Cubs, locked in a battle with Milwaukee for first place in the NL Central, can give Kimbrel the luxury of reclaiming his electric stuff before coming back up to the big league club.