Finally, the wait is almost over to see All-Stars Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel pitch again.
As we all know, the past couple years of MLB free agency has been a mess. Owners only want to pay for cheap talent that is controllable for several seasons. They don’t want to shell out dollars for players going into their 30s, no matter the resume.
That is why Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel have waited this long to sign. Neither player received offers to their liking or ones they feel they were deserving. Now, they both will start the 2019 season halfway through, with Keuchel going to the Atlanta Braves last week and Kimbrel to the Chicago Cubs days earlier.
When do we think they will be ready to pitch in the big leagues? Well, the hope is that they should be good to go in a week or so. According to reports, Kimbrel is about to start throwing batting practice, and Keuchel pitched seven innings in the Minors. The two pitchers most likely were throwing during the beginning of the season to stay in shape when signed.
For the Chicago Cubs, the bullpen will be adding a crucial upgrade. Brandon Kintzler and Steve Cishek are reliable, but inconsistent after that. Adding Kimbrel would give Chicago their version of a three-headed monster in the bullpen. The former World Series champion knows how to pitch in tense situations and hold games. He’s used to having all eyes on him since being in Boston, and now he will have the Wrigley faithful supporting him.
The Atlanta Braves are acquiring a veteran starter to mentor the young pitchers. Keuchel has a proven successful track record. He has gone through the rebuilding phase and reaped the rewards. Now, the southpaw will be the anchor of a Braves’ staff with a ton of potential. Having Keuchel and Mike Foltynewicz as a one-two punch would be an intriguing sight in the postseason.
Both pitchers will be an important piece to put each team over the top. The Cubs add another star to their already stacked team, and the Braves sign a crucial veteran pitcher to lead young starters.