The Chicago Cubs made the signing of Craig Kimbrel official on Friday and Theo Epstein says the club won't rush the reliever onto the mound.
"First step is going to throw a bullpen [Saturday], and then head out to [the Cubs' complex] in Mesa, Ariz. and have a condensed spring training. We'll throw a couple bullpens, face live hitters and we'll get a gauge on where he's at from there. We'll listen to Craig and how he's feeling. At some point, he'll make a rehab assignment [at Triple-A Iowa]. We're not going to rush it. It's going to tempting to get him here as soon as possible, but we're trying to plan this thing the right way so he can be in a position to succeed not just immediately but all the way through October. That's going to be our guiding principal as we go," Epstein said.
Joe Maddon told reporters on Thursday that he thought Kimbrel might be ready to pitch in about three weeks.