As one of the best closers in Major League Baseball history, Craig Kimbrel will be a hot commodity this winter.
The free agent closer is coming off a down season, by his standards, as well as a postseason that raised questions about whether he can pitch under pressure in October. Still, at 30 years old, the hard-throwing right-hander likely is in for a big payday this offseason.
The question, of course, is where will Kimbrel land?
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi on Tuesday wrote the following about Kimbrel’s expected market:
“Even as the bullpen revolution continues, most clubs — and especially the managers of those clubs — value having an All-Star to pitch the ninth inning. The list of contenders pursuing closers this offseason is relatively well-defined: The Red Sox have interest in retaining Kimbrel, while the Braves (Kimbrel’s original team) and the Cardinals also are possible suitors.
“Kimbrel’s agent, David Meter, has recent comparisons in the $16 million average annual value of Kenley Jansen’s contract with the Dodgers, and the record-setting $17.3 million mark Wade Davis reached with the Rockies last offseason. The question now is whether Kimbrel will agree to a three- or four-year deal.”
Given how unpredictable MLB free agency has been the last few years, it’s difficult to predict what kind of contract Kimbrel will get. All we know is the seven-time All-Star has earned a significant payday.
Kimbrel picked up 108 saves and posted a 2.44 ERA over the last three seasons with the Boston Red Sox. For his career, the Alabama native has 333 saves and a 1.91 ERA.
Thumbnail photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images
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