It took a while, but Craig Kimbrel finally has a home in the MLB with the Chicago Cubs. And one conversation with of his former teammates may have helped seal the deal.
Kimbrel has known Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward since their days together on the Atlanta Braves, where they both made their MLB debut in 2010. The two have kept in touch since they both left the Braves in 2014.
So when it came to deciding on whether or not to sign with the Cubs earlier this year, Kimbrel found Heyward as a source of guidance. According to The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney, the two discussed his MLB future the same night news broke of Kimbrel’s decision to sign a three-year, $43 million with Chicago in June.
So what did he tell Kimbrel?
“I just told him he deserved to play in a place like this,” Heyward said Tuesday at Wrigley Field. “The fan base, the organization, the family ownership, the city, it’s just an opportunity to feel like you’re in every game. At the end of the year — the expectations — there’s no question. I just told him his family would love it. And I know how he is, just wanting to win and take the ball. He doesn’t shy away from big markets.”
Kimbrel is expected to make his second appearance for Triple-A Iowa on Friday.
Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images