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.

Padres to recall Luis Urías

Luis Urias
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The Padres are set to recall top infield prospect Luis Urías from Triple-A El Paso, according to a report from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It’ll be the second such stint for the club’s no. 2 prospect, and one they hope to extend through the end of the season. A corresponding roster move will be announced later this weekend.

Urías, 22, struggled in his first promotion to the majors this April. Touted as “one of the Minors’ better pure hitters” with “innate bat-to-ball skills” and “plus on-base skills,” he found it difficult to adjust to big league pitching and slashed a lackluster .083/.241/.125 with just two hits and four walks over 11 games with the Padres.

Upon his return to Triple-A, however, the young middle infielder has delivered nothing short of spectacular results, batting .315/.398/.600 with 19 home runs, seven stolen bases (in nine chances), and a .998 OPS across 339 plate appearances. Given the additional measures he’s taken to improve his mechanics — something, Acee says, the Padres are far more interested in than his results at the plate — it seems he may be ready to handle the competition at the highest level on a long-term basis.

Urías is expected to be recalled in time for the Padres’ game against the Cubs on Saturday, where he’ll likely share the middle infield with fellow top prospect Fernando Tatís. The game is set for 2:20 PM EDT.