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Former Philadelphia Phillies reliever Craig Kimbrel agrees to terms with Baltimore Orioles

Digital Brief: December 6, 2023 (AM)
Digital Brief: December 6, 2023 (AM) 02:12

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Craig Kimbrel is heading south on Interstate 95 this upcoming baseball season. The former Philadelphia Phillies reliever agreed to terms with the Baltimore Orioles on a one-year contract on Wednesday. 

The deal is worth $13 million, according to The Athletic. MLB Network reported it has an option year for 2025. 

Kimbrel, who made the All-Star team during the 2023 season, pitched in 71 games for the Phillies in the regular season and recorded 23 saves. He also finished with a 3.26 ERA, 94 strikeouts, a 1.04 WHIP and blew five saves. 

But the righty didn't have the same success for the Phillies in the postseason, particularly against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series.

In seven games during the playoffs, Kimbrel's ERA ballooned to 6.00 and he allowed six hits, including one home run, four earned runs and one blown save. 

During Game 5 of the NLCS, Kimbrel let up the winning run in the bottom of the ninth in a 2-1 win for Arizona. Then, in Game 5, Kimbrel entered the bottom of the eighth inning with a 5-3 lead and let up multiple hits, including the home run that tied the game, which led to a Diamondbacks victory. 

Kimbrel, 35, currently ranks eighth in the MLB's all-time saves list with 417. The Orioles need a relief pitcher after their closer, Félix Bautista, will likely miss the entire 2024 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. 

The Phillies thanked Kimbrel for his time with the team on social media after his signing became official. 

"Best of luck in Baltimore, Crag!" the team wrote. 

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