A’s reach deal with Ziegler, avoid arbitration

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From ESPN.com’s Buster Olney comes word that the A’s avoided arbitration with reliever Brad Ziegler on Saturday by agreeing to a one-year, $1.25 million contract.

Ziegler, a 31-year-old right-hander, posted a 3.26 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over 60.2 innings last season and a 3.07 ERA over 73.1 innings the year before.  He was eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter and did pretty well for himself.

Last season he earned just $410,000.  This season he will earn more than double that.

Thanks to a lights-out rookie season that saw him set a record for most scoreless innings (36.1) to start a career, the submariner from Missouri State University boasts a 2.51 career ERA across 193.2 major league frames.  He should remain an effective and useful reliever in Oakland at least through his arbitration years.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.