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Baltimore Orioles sign Craig Kimbrel to 1-year, $13 million deal

Baltimore Orioles sign reliever Craig Kimbrel for $13 million, including bonuses and a club option for 2025, to replace Félix Bautista.

The Baltimore Orioles made a significant addition to their bullpen by signing reliever Craig Kimbrel to a one-year contract worth $13 million. This deal was finalized on the last day of baseball's winter meetings and also includes performance bonuses for the 36-year-old right-hander. Kimbrel, who earned his ninth All-Star nod last season with the Philadelphia Phillies, will now join his eighth team in the MLB.

The Orioles, who won the AL East championship, announced the signing on social media and revealed that the contract includes a club option for 2025. This move comes as the team looks to fill the void left by All-Star closer Félix Bautista, who is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. General manager Mike Elias expressed optimism about the signing, stating that the plan is for Kimbrel to assume the closer role for the team.

During his time with the Phillies last season, Kimbrel appeared in 71 games and posted an 8-6 record with a 3.26 ERA and 23 saves. He also recorded 94 strikeouts over 69 innings, marking his highest strikeout total since 2021 when he played for the Chicago Cubs and White Sox. Notably, Kimbrel had a strong finish to the season, with a 2.21 ERA over his final 57 appearances and an impressive 1.50 ERA in 12 games in September. However, his performance in the playoffs was not as strong, as he went 0-2 with three saves and a 6.00 ERA in seven games.

Prior to joining the Orioles, Kimbrel had signed a $10 million, one-year deal with the Phillies after his previous contract with the Cubs was affected by the pandemic. With a World Series win with the Boston Red Sox in 2018 and a track record of success in the MLB, Kimbrel's addition to the Orioles' bullpen is expected to bolster their pitching staff for the upcoming season.

In conclusion, the signing of Craig Kimbrel represents a significant move for the Baltimore Orioles as they aim to strengthen their bullpen for the 2022 MLB season. With his experience and track record of success, Kimbrel is poised to make a valuable contribution to the team as they pursue their goals in the competitive AL East division.

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