It’s no secret that the Cubs bullpen has been struggling as of late and now, the Cubs are finally doing their due diligence on the free-agent closer ahead of Monday’s MLB entry draft.
The Cubs are reported to have interest in Craig Kimbrel as of Saturday morning according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The timing of this whole scenario is very important. With the draft approaching next week, Kimbrel can sign after midnight on Monday morning and not cost the Cubs a draft pick compensation. Up until that point, a Kimbrel signing would cost the Cubs a high-round draft pick that they desperately need in order to rebuild the farm system. Justin Hunter, Barstool Carl and I actually discussed this on our last episode on NorthSide 9.
With the draft pick compensation falling away, the Cubs have jumped one of the hurdles that has prevented a Kimbrel signing before this. The second measure that the team needs to “research” is whether or not they can financially afford him. It’s no secret that Craig Kimbrel will want a lot of money for his services, and there is no guarantee the Cubs can fit him under the luxury tax threshold, thanks to multiple big contracts such as Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Jason Heyward, and more.
If the Cubs can financially make things work, do not be surprised if Kimbrel is in a Cubs uniform for at least the remainder of the season. Perhaps the Cubs could give him a multi-year contract, or an option for next season, to further entice the high-profile closer into signing. I dove into this possibility a while back right here, after the Brendan Morrow setback news was released. Now, not only would they need to replace Morrow, but they need to add a top bullpen arm who will not blow games for the Cubs, as the current bullpen has done 11 times!
Sit back and keep your eyes and ears open, Cubs fans! There is a chance that Craig Kimbrel suits up in blue pinstripes to lock down leads for the Cubs.
Featured Photo: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette