Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Red Sox Closer Craig Kimbrel Turns Down Boston's $17.9M Qualifying Offer

(Getty Images)
As expected by most observers, current (and now perhaps former) Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel declined the team's $17.9 million qualifying offer and immediately became an unrestricted free agent. Overall, Kimbrel had a solid 2018 season (2.74 ERA and 42 saves)—although his postseason numbers (despite nailing down every save opportunity) were cardiac-worthy (5.81 ERA). He's only 30-years-of-age, so Kimbrel is likely to approach or surpass the record reliever contract snared by Evil One Aroldis Chapman—5 years, $86 million. Now that he is likely 'history', it's instructive to listen to what Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski recently said on the topic, "I don’t think we’ll go in with that idea of closer by committee. I can’t tell you what’s an established closer. I mean, Ryan Brasier has closed games for some established big league clubs. Is Matt Barnes? I don’t think we’d feel uncomfortable with either one of them. Could there be other alternatives? Sure." Yikes! Unfortunately, Kimbrel remains the best available option the Red Sox have on the closer market—it might just make sense to at least make him a juicier offer before letting him flee.