Braves sign closer Kimbrel to four-year deal

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 17 2014 09:39 AM | Updated as of Feb 17 2014 05:39 PM

ORLANDO - The Atlanta Braves on Sunday signed All-Star closing pitcher Craig Kimbrel to a four-year deal worth a reported $42 million.

With the contract, which includes an option for 2018, the Braves avoided salary arbitration and secured the long-term services of another young talent.

"We are very excited to agree to terms with Craig, who we feel is the best closer in Major League Baseball," Braves general manager Frank Wren.

"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."

Kimbrel, 25, has already recorded 139 saves. The Braves did not give the terms of the deal, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported he will earn $42 million over the four years. According to the newspaper, the option is worth $13 million.

Kimbrel was the 2011 National League Rookie of the Year and last season the right-hander finished fourth in voting for the NL Cy Young Award after tying for the major league lead in saves with a career-high 50.

He posted a 1.21 earned run average. He converted a club record 37 straight save opportunities from May 9-September 14.

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