Craig Kimbrel
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Cubs activate Craig Kimbrel

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The Chicago Cubs have activated Craig Kimbrel and he will be available to pitch against his former team, the Atlanta Braves, in this afternoon’s game, which is already underway. Joe Maddon says he won’t use Kimbrel “for more than three outs early on.”

Kimbrel and the Cubs agreed to a three-year, $43 million contract on June 7. He pitched in four games for Iowa after that, allowing one run and two hits in 3.2 innings. To make room for him on the roster right-hander Tony Barnette was optioned to Iowa.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.