The question was answered the day before Kimbrel’s scheduled arbitration case. Sunday morning, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reported that the Braves agreed to a four-year contract for $42 million. The contract, along with the 2018 option for $13 million and the $3.5 million in performance bonuses, could max out at $58.5 million.
When the two sides exchanged arbitration figures, Kimbrel’s side came in with a $9 million contract request with the Braves countering with $6.55 million. Kimbrel’s new contract will likely be the model for young closers in this new market, as he will earn around $10.25 million per year. Frank Wren released a statement.
We are very excited to agree to terms with Craig, who we feel is the best closer in Major League Baseball. He is one of the key pieces of our pitching staff and we are happy to keep him in a Braves uniform for at least four more years.
Over four years with the Braves, the 25-year old Kimbrel has earned three All-Star nominations, led the league in saves the previous three seasons, and has posted a 1.39 ERA, .902 WHIP, and 15.1 K/9 over just 227.1 innings.