DES MOINES, Iowa — When the Cubs' biggest free agent acquisition of 2019 will join the major league club is still to be determined, but the team's future closer took a major step on Tuesday.
That's when the Iowa Cubs, the Triple-A affiliate of the team, announced that Craig Kimbrel has officially been called up to their roster.
Not only is the closer on their road trip to Sacramento Tuesday afternoon, but the team also announced that he's likely to pitch Tuesday night in the game against the River Cats. This would be the first game action of any kind for Kimbrel since Game 4 of the World Series with the Red Sox on Oct. 27.
Since then and through spring training, along with the first two months of the season, Kimbrel held out to get a long-term deal. In need of a true closer, the Cubs inked him to a three-year, $43 million contract earlier this month with a vesting/club option for 2022. After signing with the Cubs, Kimbrel had a bullpen session at Wrigley Field then went to the team's spring training home in Mesa for extra work before joining the Iowa Cubs.
The Iowa Cubs have two more games in Sacramento before they return home for a nine-game homestand in Des Moines. Meanwhile, the Cubs begin a 10-game homestand this evening against the White Sox, giving Kimbrel a shot to make his Cubs' debut at Wrigley Field before the end of June. How much time the seven-time All-Star who has 333 career saves will need is still to be determined, but everyday gets a little closer to Kimbrel's debut in Chicago.