Craig Kimbrel to Cubs pending physical

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UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cubs have signed Craig Kimbrel. The deal is pending a physical. Here are the details as they currently stand.

1:53 PM: We’re now three days past the point where draft pick compensation is no longer attached to any teams which want to sign Craig Kimbrel or Dallas Keuchel and still there has been no movement. It’s as if no one wants one of the best relievers and one of the better starting pitchers in all of baseball. Kinda nuts!

The the other day we heard that the Yankees were perceived as the front runners for Keuchel. But what of Kimbrel? Here’s what we got at the moment:

  • Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cubs are “pushing hard” to sign Kimbrel. That would make a lot of sense given the injuries their bullpen has sustained and given that Chicago is likely to be in a dogfight with the Brewers all summer long;
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that Kimbrel is a “priority” for the Minnesota Twins. That might make a lot of sense too. The Twins, though, can probably drive a bit of a harder bargain if they want to seeing as though they have a 10.5 game lead in their division. They may not want to lose Kimbrel to someone else, but they can afford to wait a bit longer and have more of a margin of error than most clubs;
  • The Braves seem, constantly, to be mentioned as a potential landing spot. While this makes sense from both the perspective of the Braves’ needs and from the fact that Kimbrel spent many years in in Atlanta and might want to go back, anyone connected with the Braves and everyone who covers the Braves on a day-to-day basis has poured cold water on that kind of talk, saying that Atlanta has no interest in either Kimbrel or Keuchel.

So there we are. Clear as mud. The only thing that one might say is that all of this rumor mongering suggests some actual activity behind the scenes, which would in turn suggest that Kimbrel’s days as a free agent are drawing to a close.

But where he stops, nobody knows.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

Tim Warner/Getty Images
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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.