The Twins' pursuit of All-Star reliever Craig Kimbrel came up short as the Chicago Cubs reached a deal with him on Wednesday night, according to MLB insider Ken Rosenthal.
Rosenthal reports that Kimbrel and the Cubs have agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract. Dan Hayes of The Athletic is saying the Twins were willing to go two years with Kimbrel, but not a third year.
That appears to be one of the main reasons the Twins didn't upgrade their bullpen with the seven-time All-Star. Instead, Minnesota will now have to look to the trade deadline to make improvements to the 10th-ranked (ERA) bullpen in the American League.
You could look at like this: The Twins preferred saving $15 million that it would've cost to add a third year to Kimbrel's deal over parting with prospects in any future deal they swing for a pitcher before the July 31 trade deadline.
Then again, even if the Twins did offer a contract equal to what the Cubs reportedly have, would Kimbrel pick a life in Minneapolis over Chicago?
We'll never know, but the pressure is now on the Twins to become postseason-ready via the trade deadline.