Craig Kimbrel rumors: Brewers, Cubs don't seem like suitors despite early-season bullpen struggles

Nearly a week and a half into baseball's regular season, free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel remains unsigned. Equally upsetting: he remains unlinked to any particular team -- this despite perspective contenders like the Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers fielding some of baseball's worst statistical bullpens thus far.

We're obviously too jaded to overreact to small-sample sizes. We aren't too jaded, however, to state that Kimbrel, who is the all-times saves leader through an age-30 season, should have signed long ago. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear he'll find gainful employment anytime soon.

On Sunday, Brewers assistant general manager Matt Arnold said on MLB Network Radio he doesn't envision the club making a bullpen acquisition anytime soon. 

Then, on Monday, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts did his own radio hit -- the Mully and Haugh Show on 670 The Score -- in which he dismissed the possibility of signing Kimbrel.

Coupled with the recent revelation that the Braves haven't been in touch with Kimbrel in a while, it appears that we're no closer to a resolution than we were a month ago.

As a reminder: Kimbrel has a 184 ERA+ and four times as many walks the last three seasons. He could help any team in baseball -- literally any team. Yet none of them seem willing to deign by considering the possibility. 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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