Playing the waiting game might pay off for Craig Kimbrel.

One Major League Baseball executive told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal the free-agent closer should wait until after the MLB draft in early June to sign with a new team. Doing so would breathe new life into the market for services, which to date hasn’t produced the lucrative long-term deal he sought after he declined the Boston Red Sox’s contract offer and opted for free agency.

“Such a maneuver would remove one obstacle from Kimbrel’s pursuit of market value, making him no longer subject to the draft-pick compensation he faces because he rejected the Red Sox’s $17.9 million qualifying offer,” Rosenthal wrote in an article published Monday.

The executive believes Kimbrel then should sign a prorated, one-year contract and re-enter free agency next offseason. Interested teams might be more willing to agree to his demands if they don’t have to part ways with a draft-pick in addition to paying his high salary and bonuses.

Kimbrel, 30, has a 1.91 ERA with 333 saves in his Hall of Fame-caliber career. He has been linked to the Minnesota Twins, Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies in recent weeks.

He reportedly seeks a contract worth upward of $100 million and has threatened to sit out the entire 2019 season if he doesn’t receive a suitable offer. Perhaps he should consider the MLB executive’s less-drastic approach, too?

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images