Astros decline Matt Albers’ option for 2015

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Injuries limited right-hander Matt Albers to just 10 innings this season and the Astros have declined the reliever’s $3 million option for 2015, buying him out for $200,000.

Albers had a very effective two-season run for the Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and Indians in 2012 and 2013, throwing a total of 123 innings with a 2.77 ERA despite just 5.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

When healthy enough to take the mound this season he remained effective, allowing just one run in eight appearances, but shoulder problems make it likely that he’ll have to accept a minor-league deal as a free agent.

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.