Craig Kimbrel Should Wait Until After Draft To Join New Team, MLB Executive Believes

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

TMZ logo

© 2019 NESN

NESN Shows

Partner of USATODAY Sports Digital Properties