If the World Series-winning Boston Red Sox want to keep their closer, it sounds like they’ll have to pay up. Craig Kimbrel is a free agent this offseason, of course. And the 30-year-old isn’t going to settle for less than he believes he’s worth. Not right now, anyway. So, what exactly is he asking for? Per ESPN’s Buster Olney, Kimbrel wants a six-year deal.
Teams being told that in initial ask, All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel is looking for a six-year deal.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 30, 2018
Again, he’s only 30 years old and coming off another fine season. But the aging curve for relievers typically isn’t all that great. Plus, he does have plenty of mileage on him. 2019 will be his 10th MLB season, but he’s ben an All-Star seven times — including in each of his last three seasons. This past season, Kimbrel logged just over 62 innings with a 2.74 ERA, 3.16 FIP and 2.58 DRA for the Red Sox. All those numbers were down from last season, but that’s still pretty dang good. He also struck out 38.9% of opposing hitters — down nearly 11 ticks from last season (49.6%) but still very much in line with his career average.
And if there’s any team that can handle the financial burden of a potential six-year pact with Kimbrel, it’s the Red Sox. It’s just a matter of whether or not they’ll want to take that plunge. After all, they have to think about Chris Sale’s looming free agency. His contract is up at the end of 2019. So we’ll see.
Do you see any teams stepping up to offer the shutdown reliever a six-year deal?