Coming off of a trying postseason, the Red Sox closer for the prior three seasons, Craig Kimbrel, entered free agency and as it turns out, is rumored to be looking for the largest deal that a relief pitcher has ever received.
The Red Sox President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, has made it known that the team will not be spending big money on the closer position in lieu of the team’s other upcoming financial decisions that will need to be made over the following two offseasons.
In a Tuesday column by Bob Nightengale, Dombrowski reiterated that same notion. “Craig did a great job for us, he’s a hall of fame reliever. But we have not anticipated having a large expenditure for a closer.”
The interest surrounding Kimbrel has been lukewarm for a closer who a lot of people anticipated to have a relatively heavy market.
Kimbrel has been one of the greatest closers arguably of all-time through his MLB career thus far, but the most recent memory that baseball’s scouts and organizations have is his poor postseason. In 4.1 innings pitched, he posted an ERA of 4.15 and a WHIP of 1.154.
The flame-throwing right-handed pitcher has a career ERA of 1.91 and a WHIP of 0.92. His time in Boston began in 2016 and over his three years with the club, he has posted an ERA of 2.44 and overall has been one of the best relievers in the game today.
As I spoke about in my prior piece where I discuss the possibility of Craig Kimbrel’s return to the Red Sox, I believe that the only way he makes his return to this team is if he and his agent severely lower his asking price. With other highly touted relief pitchers falling off of the market, he is one of the top two remaining names along with Adam Ottavino.
The Red Sox plan going forward seems to be testing the waters with relief pitchers Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes in the closing role if they do not make a move specifically for someone to fill that current void.
This will be a very interesting storyline as the offseason progresses and spring training approaches.