This just in, former Red Sox closing pitcher Craig Kimbrel has reached an absurd contract with the Chicago Cubs. That’s right. Dirty Craig is headed to Chi-town to help the Cubs struggling bullpen.
Kimbrel signed an outrageous three-year, $45 million dollar deal to play for the Cubbies, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
For me, this is a real shame. A real head turner. In fact, a real head-scratcher to say the least. You see, I used to be Kimbrel’s biggest hype man when he was with Boston. I loved the fact that he signed with Boston back in 2016. I loved his quirky windup and his emphatic stare down, as we all did if you were a Sox fan. Not to mention his brilliant statistics that he put up while in Beantown. An overall 2.44 ERA, 108 Saves, 305 strikeouts in 184.1 innings pitched for the Sox. We all loved the man.
SIGNS OF WEAR?
However, in the latter half of 2018, during the improbable World Series run, Dirty Craig seemed shaky and rather not himself. We saw him struggle mightily during the postseason, losing velocity and more importantly command. I began to notice that the Red Sox did not need Kimbrel in the World Series after he almost blew a number of close games in both the Yankees series (ALDS) and Astros series (ALCS) in 2018. Alex Cora knew this as well as he sent his best pitcher, a starting pitcher in Chris Sale to end the game and what would be the World Series clincher against the Dodgers.
A SELFISH PLAYER?
The moment I knew Craig Kimbrel was selfish was when he did not show up for the 2018 World Series ring ceremony back in early April even though he had not signed with a team. Kimbrel declined the invitation to attend the ceremony with his friends and former teammates. Honestly, what else did the guy have to do? C’mon. Kimbrel was also knowingly upset that his number wasn’t called during that last inning of the 2018 World Series. That video showed below shows everyone clapping and cheering for Sale as he goes out to finish off the World Series win for the Red Sox. Who doesn’t seem thrilled? Craig Kimbrel. That’s because most reports say that Kimbrel was seen pouting in the bullpen, not understanding why he wasn’t put out there for the final out.
I honestly believe the guy is very selfish and he really only cares about himself. Yeah, that’s frank and to the point and it may be harsh to most baseball fans, Cubs fans, and even some Sox fans but it’s simply a fact. Kimbrel waited almost half of the season to see who really needed him or really thought that they needed him in order for him to get his money. Back in January, the Red Sox offered Kimbrel a 1 year, $19 million dollar deal in which Craig turned down because he wanted at least $20 million. To me, that’s selfish. You knew you were the guy in Boston and you know you had a chance at winning another World Series in Boston. Why would you not resign with the team who brought you your first World Series ring? The team that made you “THE GUY” as the full-time closer? Who cares that you weren’t the guy at the end of the game during the 2018 World Series? The guy was still one of the best regular season closers and I know most Sox fans would have welcomed him back with open arms.
GREAT JOB, DOMBROWSKI
To me, I don’t want that pitcher on my team. I don’t want a selfish, all about me guy to continue to think it’s all about him even though he and his team are about to go close out a World Series victory. I don’t want a guy who won’t attend an important event for his former teammates, his fans and his so-called friends. But I never remember hearing reports of anyone on the Red Sox being upset that he didn’t attend the event so that just goes to show how much his former teammates really thought of Kimbrel. Selfish? I would bet you some would say yes.
CRAIG ISN’T WORTH THE CASH
To me, the guy just seems like a money-hungry, attention-seeking closer who used his great regular season statistics to his advantage in order to leverage teams into thinking they should sign a pitcher like himself. In reality, Kimbrel had over a 6 postseason ERA in 2018 with several scares, command issues and chemistry mishaps that aren’t worth a 3-year, $46-million deal. This deal will put Kimbrel at 34 years of age. His velocity is already slowing down as we could see in the 2018 playoffs and the guy hasn’t pitched at all in the 2019 season so far (we’re about 60 games in). Don’t be surprised when Kimbrel gets off to a slow start, Cubs fans.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE SOX?
I’m above the moon that the Sox didn’t sign Kimbrel. Could he have helped the back end of Boston’s bullpen? Surely. Is the guy one of the best relievers in the game? Yes. But to me, I don’t want a selfish guy who doesn’t care about the team. I think Dombrowski did a very good job of not overpaying and giving into Kimbrel and I now believe the Sox can spend that money elsewhere at the trade deadline or during the offseason. The Sox bullpen will figure it out.
Since day one of spring training in 2019 I was not worried about this Red Sox bullpen at all and I was not worried that Kimbrel nor Joe Kelly hadn’t signed with the Red Sox. I did not want Kimbrel. Kelly, on the other hand, is a different story just because of the energy and attitude he brings to the game but as a pitcher even, Kelly posts an above 7 ERA as of this writing so I think owner Dave Dombrowski did a pretty good job of not paying for that hometown hero.
That’s simply a fact! Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter– @jmoorereal. Keep up with all things Boston featuring news, podcasts, articles & more by following “the Wicked Take” on Instagram and Twitter– @thewickedtake.