Finally, the long wait for Craig Kimbrel is over. With the draft-pick compensation finally expiring on Monday night, the 31-year-old closer saw an end to months of waiting to see where he would play next after Kimbrel turned down a one-year offer by the Boston Red Sox worth $17.9 million.

According to The Athletic, Kimbrel has agreed to a multi-year contract with the Chicago Cubs. The deal is said to be worth about $45 million and will only become official once the seven-time MLB All-Star passes a physical.

“When you’re able to lengthen the bullpen, with the really quality guys at the end, you can shorten the game. There’s no question you can shorten the game. That’s the kind of stuff that can get you on a roll when you don’t give up leads and you can shut things down,” said Cubs general manager Joe Maddon on Wednesday in a report by Boston.com.

Kimbrel holds career averages of 1.91 ERA, 14.7 K/9, and 4.23 K/BB rate over nine seasons and 532 2/3 career innings. His 2018 MLB season was not exactly something to be proud off, seeing how he struggled in the second half of last season. Kimbrel had control issues in two of the last three seasons - a potential reasons why some teams may have been apprehensive in guaranteeing the closer a five or six-year deal.

Ironically, the Cubs were not among the initial teams linked to Kimbrel. As mentioned in a previous post, the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers and the Minnesota Twins who had expressed interest. The Red Sox were also open to bringing back the one-time World Champion before Ryan Brasier entered the fray.

The Cubs entered the picture late after getting some luxury tax breathing room. This cropped up when Ben Zobrist was placed on the restricted list last May 8- meaning his salary was no longer counted on Chicago's luxury tax calculation. Should Zorbist miss the entire season, the Cubs will have about $9 million to work with and this is seen by pundits as the reason for the push in getting Kimbrel to the fold.

The pending arrival of Kimbrel should help improve the Cubs' bullpen who are set to face the Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central. The 31-year-old should provide a big lift considering Chicago tried to make do with the likes of Brad Brach, Brandon Kintzler and Steve Cishek.

Craig Kimbrel Red Sox Nationals Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the ninth inning for his 26th save during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. Photo: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images