Craig Kimbrel on track to join Cubs by end of June

Veteran reliever Craig Kimbrel is set to join the Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa affiliate and make his debut Tuesday against the Sacramento River Cats, according to The Athletic.

Kimbrel, 31, earlier this month signed a reported $43 million deal with the Cubs that runs through the 2021 season but has yet to pitch in live games. He has made it clear he won’t rush back to the field.

“It’s not about getting on the field as quickly as possible,” he said at his introductory press conference in Chicago. “It’s about being the best that I can.”

Although Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has not provided a timetable for when Kimbrel might make his Cubs debut, the Des Moines Register reported that the right-hander is expected to appear in around five games with Iowa before heading to Chicago. He has been at the Cubs’ Arizona training facility, getting ready for live games after missing spring training and the start of the 2019 regular season as an unsigned free agent.

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