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Agreed: Phillies contract accepted by outstanding pitcher

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Phillies closer Craig Kimbrel is headed to Baltimore.

The Orioles announced on Wednesday that the seasoned pitcher had reached an agreement on a one-year contract with a club option for the 2025 campaign.

The financial details of Kimbrell’s contract were not made public, but sources told ESPN that it is valued at $13 million.

Since then, Baltimore has needed Felix Bautista, the All-Star closer, will probably miss the 2024 season due to Tommy John surgery. In August, he was placed on the injured list.

Kimbrel, 35, pitched for the Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, and Boston Red Sox from 2011 to 2018, during which time he was one of the best closers of the 2010s. He made seven All-Star appearances and amassed 332 saves, at least 68 more than any other pitcher.

During that eight-year span, the right-hander with a lethal fastball-curveball combination navigated the field with a 1.97 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and a rate of 14.6 strikeouts per nine innings. Since then, he has played for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Philadelphia Phillies, posting a 3.57 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 13.0 strikeout rate.

Between 2019 and 2023, Kimbrel was selected to two more All-Star teams. During the most recent season, he pitched for the Phillies, recording a 3.26 ERA, 23 saves, and 94 strikeouts in 69 innings of regular season play.

But in his 30s, Kimbrel has largely failed to achieve the sheer dominance of his 20s. His disastrous loss of a two-run lead in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, which set up the Phillies’ stunning loss to the Phoenix Diamondbacks, will live on in the memories of Philadelphia.

The Orioles won an American League-best 101 games last season, which came as a huge surprise. Prior to being swept in the division series by the Texas Rangers, they had won the AL East. A lot of preseason predictions had them placing last in the division.

 

 

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