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Report: Kimbrel, Orioles agree to one-year, $13 million deal

Craig Kimbrel Philadelphia Phillies Craig Kimbrel - The Canadian Press

The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a one-year, $13 million deal with right-handed relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.  

Kimbrel, 35, pitched to a 3.26 earned runs average in 71 games for the Philadelphia Phillies last year, striking out 94 in 69.0 innings and totaling 23 saves.

He joins his eighth MLB squad, and fifth in the last four seasons. With incumbent closer Felix Bautista set to miss the entire 2024 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September, Kimbrel fills a major need at the back of the Orioles' bullpen. 

One of the premier closers of this generation, Kimbrel was named to his ninth All-Star game in 2023.

His 417 career saves ranks second among active pitchers, trailing only Kenley Jansen, and eighth in MLB history.

Kimbrel has finished in the top 10 for Cy Young voting five times in his career – most recently with the Boston Red Sox in 2017 – and led the National League in saves four years in a row from 2011-14.

The right-hander, known for his intimidating presence on the mound and his iconic wind-up where he stares down the batter before entering his pitching motion, still features a fastball that touches the high 90s.

In 780 career MLB games, the former NL Rookie of the Year and 2018 World Series Champion has an ERA of 2.40 with 1,192 strikeouts in 757.1 innings pitched.