Free agent closer Craig Kimbrel and his agency, SportsMeter, are back in the headlines this week after some downright laughable news began circulating.
The former Red Sox closer is reportedly looking for a 6-year contract worth over $100 million.
I've heard execs from 2 teams say this week that Craig Kimbrel is looking for a deal north of $100 million for 6 years.
He's one of the greatest closers of all time. But is there a record deal out there for him? Hard to say in a bullpen market that has barely moved.
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 13, 2018
I think I speak for all of Red Sox nation when I say, “What in the world?”
Like I’ve said before in regards to Dirty Craig, he is a terrific closer, and, even though it sounds absolutely ridiculous, is statistically one of the best closers of all time. When the offseason began, everyone knew he was looking to be paid as much, reportedly looking for a contract in the range of what Wade Davis received last year, but for a few more years. But this? This is exorbitant.
I’ve never been more sure of a player not returning to his previous team in my life.
I thought back in November that there was a very slim chance that the Sox could talk Kimbrel and his reps down to somewhere in the range of 4 years, $50 million. Sure, not cheap for a closer who turns 31 in May and is coming off the worst season of his career, but manageable. But this???? No way José.
Even though NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich is saying that it’s still very possible a reunion could happen, we all know that’s a pipe dream.
Don’t count the Red Sox out on Craig Kimbrel yet. Agents who represent high-leverage relievers that the Red Sox are interested in have been told by the team that the Red Sox are waiting on Kimbrel. https://t.co/eP5A8combd
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) December 13, 2018
Also, when you consider in the fact that Dave Dombrowski is reportedly going around the winter meetings looking for suitors for Jackie Bradley Jr and Rick Porcello, which isn’t cost cutting if you ask him, the team isn’t looking to add any high end contracts to their books going forward.
Now, I’m sure that a desperate team is looking at the asking price and thinks that they can work with it, but I’m damn near guaranteeing that it won’t be Boston. Promote from within, sign Babe Ruth–killer Adam Ottavino for half the cost, do whatever you want, but don’t give in and give Kimbrel a long–term deal for more than $16 million per year. The Sox have bigger fish to fry this offseason, and overpaying for an over-the-hill closer shouldn’t be one of their top priorities.
Also, as I was writing this, Jeurys Familia re-signed with the Mets for 3 years, $30 million . Now, Familia had very similar production to Kimbrel this past season and got half as many years and a third of the cost. This should be the market for high-end relievers. Not whatever bullshit Craig Kimbrel and his camp are trying to pawn on all of us.
I loved Kimbrel during his time here, but there’s an end to everything. And this is the logical end for the Red Sox.
Photo: Greg M. Cooper- USA TODAY Sports Images