By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Boston Red Sox are expected to have a new closet in 2019. Craig Kimbrel is not expected to return.
Kimbrel is a free agent. He became a free agent when he turned down a one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer.
The Red Sox would love to retain Kimbrel, as they attempt to repeat again next year. However, his asking price is expected to be too high for the team.
Boston is limited in what they could offer to him because they’re going to have to have Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. Both are expected to receive a raise in arbitration.
His agent has told teams that Kimbrel is the best closer ever. The 30-year-old made $13 million in a club option in 2018.
He was 5-1 with 42 saves in 63 games during the regular season. He had a 2.74 ERA in 62 1/3 innings while allowing 19 runs (19 earned runs). He struck out 96 batters and walked 31.
The Philadelphia Phillies are expected to be a major player for Kimbrel’s services. The St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves are expected to be in play.
The Phillies have much more flexibility than other teams. They are expected to spend a lot of money this offseason — and are expected to be players in the pursuit of Bruce Harper and Manny Machado.
Kimbrel’s representatives are hoping he can get a deal higher then Wade Davis’s contract. He signed a three-year, $52 million deal with the Colorado Rockies.