It might be several weeks before Craig Kimbrel pitches in a game for the Chicago Cubs. (Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
It might be several weeks before Craig Kimbrel pitches in a game for the Chicago Cubs. (Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Cubs News: Maddon outlines Craig Kimbrel's timeline for joining team


by - Senior Writer -

The Chicago Cubs agreed to a deal with elite free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel on Wednesday, thereby bolstering their bullpen with arguably MLB's best reliever. The Cubs and Kimbrel reached an agreement on a three-year deal worth close to $45 million that will run through the 2021 season.

Kimbrel held out for quite some time while waiting on the opportunity to sign a lucrative multi-year deal with a contending team, causing him to miss all of spring training, as well as the entire regular season up to this point. Kimbrel's last appearance in a game came as a member of the Boston Red Sox in last season's World Series, which the Red Sox won. Therefore, Kimbrel might need a little while to ready himself for big-league action again.

In his pregame presser on Thursday, Cubs manager Joe Maddon indicated that he is still unsure as to how long it will be before Kimbrel joins the team. For what it is worth, the signing is still unofficial, so he will likely have a better idea in the coming days. Maddon did say, though, that he is planning on putting Kimbrel through a pitching regiment typical of what a pitcher goes through during spring training.

Maddon then clarified that the preparatory period will probably last around three weeks but also added that he would need to talk with Kimbrel to find out about what his status is in terms of conditioning and other relevant factors before making an ultimate decision on the time frame. Although Kimbrel might not suit up in a contest for the Cubs until late June, it will be worth ensuring that he is ready to pitch at a high level in the meantime.

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