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

Chicago Cubs Introduce Craig Kimbrel
Chicago Cubs Introduce Craig Kimbrel / 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.