The Red Sox have already lost Joe Kelly to the Dodgers via free agency and stand to lose Craig Kimbrel in free agency as well if they don’t make a push to re-sign him in the coming weeks. However, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski downplayed the possibility of retaining Kimbrel in an interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today. “Craig did a great job for us,” said Dombrowski. “He’s a Hall of Fame reliever, but we have not anticipated having a large expenditure for a closer.”
Those words have to be cringe-worthy for Kimbrel and his representatives, as the seven-time All-Star reportedly entered free agency hoping to secure a six-year pact. As of late December, Kimbrel’s camp had dropped the price tag a bit but was still seeking a deal along the lines of the five-year pacts scored by Aroldis Chapman ($86MM) and Kenley Jansen ($80MM) two offseasons ago. As I noted at the time of that report, though, Kimbrel is only three months younger than Chapman and eight months younger than Jansen — meaning he’s over a year older now than were the other two hurlers at the time they signed.
Looking beyond the impact of Dombrowski’s comments on Kimbrel, however, it’s perhaps alarming for Sox fans to hear the team’s top decision-maker suggest that there may not be a bullpen splash of note. Ryan Brasier, Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree are currently in line for work at the back of the Boston ’pen, and that trio can’t exactly fill fans or the team with confidence.
While Brasier looked sensational as an out-of-the-blue reclamation project in 2018 and Barnes has emerged as a quality setup piece over the past two seasons, the overall bullpen is lacking in experience. Brandon Workman has been solid over the past two seasons but in a smallish sample of 81 innings. Tyler Thornburg was tendered a contract after a pair of injury-ruined campaigns, while lefty Brian Johnson has been steady but unspectacular.
It should be noted, of course, that Dombrowski’s comments certainly don’t indicate that the Sox won’t be making bullpen additions of any kind. But a splash for Kimbrel seems unlikely in the wake of such a public declaration, and second-tier names like Adam Ottavino could also prove steep depending on Dombrowski’s definition of “large expenditure.” It’s worth noting that over at Roster Resource, Jason Martinez projects Boston’s current luxury tax payroll to be at a hefty $239.7MM. Even accounting for a bit of wiggle room, that doesn’t leave Boston with much room if the team hopes to remain south of the top luxury tax penalization bracket.
Of course, there’s also no real reason that the Red Sox should need to remain below that threshold unless ownership makes the curious decision to mandate doing so. The Sox are entering their final season of control over Chris Sale and Xander Bogaerts, and they could see J.D. Martinez opt out of his contract next winter as well. There’s every reason for Boston to put the pedal to the proverbial metal in this instance, even if doing so means taking a hit in the draft for a second consecutive season. (The collective bargaining agreement stipulates that exceeding the luxury threshold by more than $40MM will drop a team’s top pick in the following year’s draft by 10 spots in addition to a 45 percent luxury tax on any dollars over $246MM.)
Perhaps the Sox will find an intriguing option on the trade market or make a shrewd investment or two in the lower tiers of the free-agent market for relievers once the market dries up a bit, but it’s nevertheless puzzling that a team that is so heavily invested in every other area of the roster isn’t taking a more aggressive approach when striving to replace its two most prominent relievers. Of course, it’s also possible that Dombrowski’s comments not only reflect some real hesitation, but also represent an effort to shore up his leverage in negotiations with potential signees.
Nothing is the absence of light. Light is the absence of nothing. Infinity. Ohhhhhhhmmmmmmmm…………….
It’s good for you.
Since someone already left the comment pointing out the stupidity of yours, I’ll expound on the illogic of it:
Dombrowski’s comment is a VERY big story because it points to their apparent disinterest in resigning Craig Kimbrel. If not a smokescreen or intented as leverage, it also throws a huge wrench into the market, as the likes of Kimbrel’s market has noticeably shrunk. Likewise, the Sox still need a closer, adding a new player for the services of less heralded or less commitment-heavy flamethrowers like Cody Allen, Kelvin Herrera, and others.
On the flip side, it gives renewed hope for fans of other franchises looking to secure a star closer, that maybe Kimbrel’s price will drop, and one of the presumed biggest bidders for his services are out of the race.
It’s also a big story in Sox Nation in general, coming off a World Series win, to not retain their star closer, no matter what warts he showed in the postseason.
So… yeah, pretty big story.
Herrera signed with the White Sox
So the Sox got him. My point exactly.
This has always been DD’s M.O. I agree this time. Craig Kimbrel seems to be losing his effectiveness. What he will ask has a high potential to be a burdensome contract for the future. Consider this: BP pitchers are seldom consistent from year to year and most pens are worked out as the season goes.
And Gary… Trader Dave loves playing with fire in his bullpens.
Nothing that wasn’t already known…so I’d say it’s more than nothing, but certainly lackluster
It’s a comment from the GM on their plans for the offseason so it’s it’s news. Get the %^&* over it.
That’s the problem. It is news. I thought this site was for RUMORS. How dare actual information that can be confirmed appear here!
This sounds like posturing, a) negotiating tactic to Kimbrel’s agent and/or b) setting the stage for fans in case they can’t trade Porcello.
Why would they trade Porcello? He is 1 of only 2 right handers in the rotation! This team is built to win this year, if DUMBrowski doesn’t add a legit closer then this team does not deserve to win, How many WS is DUMBrowski going to lose because of a lack of a bona-fide closer? He has already lost 1 with Detroit in 2013
$21M this year. Can get depth minor league talent and use money on a closer and replacement starter (controversial but Clay Buchholtz anyone?). Unless the team can get a friendly extension that lowers the average value, they should consisder in my view trading him now.
As a lifelong Tiger fan, those post season games were lost due to Jim Leyland’s game time mismanagement of his pitching staff and his pen, especially leading up to the Big Papi Grand Slam. His pen in 2013 was pretty good. Same goes with the 2006 WS.
Garry, sometimes luck helps/kills a team. Paul’s ball gets caught in 13 or just last year Benny fails to come up with that diving catch against Houston. Who knows? It’s why it’s a team game not played on a computer. Managing on field though I agree us still important. This past year again, just about everything Cora did worked. Time will tell if he’s the next HOF skipper or if the law of averages catches up…
Stupid within the greater paradigm of human stupidity, of which the barrel overflows. Humans are stupid, they say and write stupid, and sports often bring out the pinnacles of stupidity. This story, like virtually everything published — on this site, ESPN, MLB, et al. — in advance of an actual action is speculation. Sure, humans are apt to speculate (instead of relying on facts or actions), but this is not a big story given the amount of stupidity it takes to speculate (gives us something to comment about though!) and then to argue over words that may, or most likely not, convey an eventual truth. Carry on stupidly.
If you are so against speculation and non-substantive stories not based on facts, why are you frequenting a site named MLB Trade Rumors? The entire site is built on the kind speculation you tout as “stupid”. So maybe some mirror looking is in order.
A lot of words, we’re not but humble pirates. Tell us what it is you want.
Actually, the reality is smarty pants above your comment has an confidence problem, found some 50 cent words and wanted sound academic. We all just see it as #fail.
88 just likes to wine. Perhaps he should interview for the Trump administration.
Let’s remember that after the World Series victory in 2004, the Red Sox lost both Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe in free agency. Losing Kimbrel and Kelly is nothing compared to that!
And This, they had such a great season in 2005 without them.
They still then won Mikeyank55 in 07, 13 and now 18. Not too shabby..
I think that’s pretty shabby, Dewey. They’ve never won twice or more in a row, or say, 4 in 5 years. Until then, I’m unimpressed with that sack of losers in bean town.
Let’s remember as much as everyone thinks this isn’t the case every single mlb player is very replaceable. Especially the ones teams lose which are expensive veterans. You could argue losing pre arb superstars aren’t replaceable and you’d be correct but this notion that teams have to bend over every time their best player reaches free agency is false.
How many have the Yanks won this century..2?
Thank you Butch. I try to be fair in my posts and LOL at all the pre 2004 “1918” chants that means nothing now. Same as championships won before most of our births. Give the Yankees credit for their success since the late 70s but truth be told, only the recent past really matters. I only commented because of the MY55 post. Wish I could attach a photo of a banner taken at Yankee Stadium in 2004. It’s a LOL moment today.
How many have the Sox won since 1918? 4? Whoopie! We can play this game all day. The only championship that matters is this years..
You sound like a frustrated delirious NYY fan.
Adams, that’s basically my point although the recent past gives “bragging rights” which is customary for bar talk.
Kimbrel was a heart attack waiting to happen in the postseason. I think the Red Sox are over him. They should go after Boxberger or Phelps. Cheaper alternative, and possibly even better than Kimbrel.
I will however, applaud your username, mostly because my mother is a hamster.
Silly English k-nigitt
Not for nothing
LOL, must be a Red Socks fan. If it actually were a nothing story, you wouldn’t be so insecure.
I’m REALLY hoping that the Red Sox name Matt Barnes the team’s closer by March 20th. My fantasy auction draft is around that time and I can keep Barnes on my team for just $5. That would be a bargain for a closer on a perennial contender.
It’s possible Barnes is one of those guys who is really solid as a setup guy, just can’t close and do the job. Tazawa was the same way when he had the chance for about a month. it happens with certain guys.
They decide to not get anyone big name? still better people than say Thornburg, who can be cut lose during ST easily. Alex Wilson imagine will be fairly cheap and was a Sox draftee few years back. Justin Wilson. solid middle guys available to help them out some.
I can keep Ryan Brasier for $4.
He’ll get 50 million over 3 years. Hopefully with the Cardinals.
I think if the ask drops to three years, Boston will be in the hunt for him
Boston’s issue isn’t really the amount of years (at least compared to any other team) it’s the AAV and if Kimbrel is getting less years, he’s probably getting an even higher AAV.
Yes, that’s usually the way it works….less years means either more money per, or an opt out early to test the market again!
Don’t think the Sox are again going to get lucky the way Martinez fell into their laps…..next year bodes as a big money spending year!
That’s only if the team demands that
All teams can collective balk at those ludicrous prices and go cheaper.
If he gets less years, it would probably look like the wade Davis contract
The luxury tax is killing free agency more than expected. Needs to change to a cap based on a percentage of revenue like other sports. Can be modified like I’ve said before but there should be a floor to require tanking teams to spend and a ceiling, both which adjust yearly.
The same people that want a floor are the same people that complain the trade deadline sucks in nhl and nba due to the cap. They don’t know what they want. Only thing the floor will do is make Russ Martin and Matt Kemp’s of the world one of the most valuable assets in the league due to their expiring contracts.
Mlb is the only league with no cap and it has the most parity among all the leagues. As soon as you try to force parity you hamstring the stupid GMs and once they make a terrible signing with their terrible drafting they can’t compete. The best GMs will still be the best, the big markets hold even more advantage in cap systems, and the best teams will have the best players taking haircuts to go win see NBA. Let’s not mention the unfair advantage the teams that play in states with way less tax. There’s a reason Tampa bay is in on every great free agent in the nhl.
This notion that a cap system is going to solve all these problems where your favourite small market team can sign its star player and every team will win 81 games and everyone will be happy is the most ludicrous thing ever.
God forbid there’s been a market correction where these guys only sign one year contracts that guarantee generational wealth times 2 instead of 4 or 5.
Different sport with more roster space to deal with. The luxury tax changed recently with more severe penalties and free agents are feeling the pinch like never before. A report yesterday showed the average salary went down last year for the first time in eight years. Such doesn’t consider there are shorter term deals as well. If the teams at the top slow down their spending and those financially at the bottom don’t spend more, this will only continue unless more teams in total spend more. The union is also upset that percentage wise, less of the overall league revenue is going into payroll than in other recent years. Thus the suggestions made above.
Also, I said this before. Add a cost of living kicker based geographically to the floor and ceiling and you resolve state tax and other local area costs issues.
Agreed. Boston is tapped out. One more six pack of Sam Adams and they will be over the $245mm limit and get hammered. Thanks Ben for Fat Panda, the gift that keeps on giving, for one more year…
I don’t think he is interested in a rebuilding situation
lol what do you call a team with no proven SP? and not making the playoffs 3 years in a row? and in the same division as the Cubs/Brewers? The Reds might be a better team than the Cards
I want whatever you’re smoking, it’s powerful stuff
The Reds aren’t even a .500 team,mostly because they have the least pitching of everybody in that division
Tanner Roark, Alex Wood along with Luis Castillo make up a better top 3 than the Cards have you dummy
Oy if you believe in the health of Wood (I don’t) and that Castillo I better than he actually has been up to this point (I also don’t). And their 4-5 guys are currently ‘hope’ and ‘prayer’. Oh, in a stadium that’s usually only second to Coors Field in terms of being hitter friendly to boot.
And I’m a Cubs fan, so taking the side of the Cardinals in anything is not something I do cavalierly
Petrieoo he is a known troll of cardinals post…ever hardly making sense…and obviously has never heard of Mikolas, Flaherty, and Carlos martinez…Hey Juiceman…you obviously don’t know that the cardinals were 6th in the league in ERA among teams…that was without a full year of Flaherty in the rotation and Martinez was hurt for the better part of the year…I know your going to say that Martinez is nothing but really he is a good pitcher…Not to mention the cardinals probably have more depth at pitching than anyone in the league…oh yea and Reyes will be healthy this year…so good try and not making the playoffs three years in a row? you do realize that the majority of the league is in the same boat…plus they were all winning seasons that the cardinals battled until the end of the year…also you realize that they just picked up Goldschmidt and miller to right? so please explain this rebuild they are in? im listening
You picked up Goldy and Miller you say? Well Miller’s arm is goop (did you watch him pitch last year ?) and Goldy numbers will SEVERLY regress without playing 96 games in Arizona or Colorado…. try again. Goldy literally played almost 60% of his games every year at the 2 best ballparks for NL hitters.
Flahtery and Mikolas?? really? one good (not great) year from each of them? Ever heard of a sophomore slump? Its real because teams have tape and time to study and make adjustments. So you have one proven pitcher who was moved to the bullpen and even had a couple saves. wow good reason to be excited.
The FO just made those moves so they don’t have a trailer park angry mob at the field every home game.
All of Castillo’s peripherals suggest he should be a top of the rotation starter. I’ve been a long-time believer in that (I’ve spent several high picks on him in fantasy lol). And as frustrating and inconsistent as he’s been, he did post a 2.63 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 8.8 K/9 rate in 14 starts from July on last year. And during his final five starts, he posted a 1.09 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and 9.3 K/9 rate.
He’s shown flashes of dominance in the past before eventually imploding, but that stretch is by far the most consistent we’ve seen from him. I wouldn’t be totally surprised if he ends up in his old ways. But I think he’s the biggest question mark for the 2019 Reds. If he can maintain those improvements we saw last season, he could be the biggest catalyst behind a 2019 playoff berth for Cincinnati.
lol the fact that you are trying to say that Goldschimdt will severely regress proves you have no idea what you are talking about…look at his numbers that he had against all the central league teams… BA .333 obp .474 slg .600, obs 1.074…That is against the cubs…so your argument for the pitching is sophomore slump…good one bud lol…what if they actually get better? wow! ever think of that…get your BS and go comment on your team…who is your team by the way the reds? lol Im kinda tired of embarrassing you on mlbtraderumors
by the way, Goldy will also play a lot more games in Cincy…which is a homerun park…will that help his numbers or hurt them?
.333 .400 .667 1.067 cincy numbers
“look at his numbers that he had against all the central league teams…”
Thats including the games he played against the central at home in AZ….lol nice try
You realize they introduced a humidifier because way too many fly balls were going for home runs
You do realize he had better numbers away than he did at home right? I guess you forgot to look at that…lol keep embarrassing yourself
Are you looking at just last year? Im looking at different numbers
stan lee the manly
That’s why the Cardinals could be a good fit for him.
hahaha rebuilding – your great, thanks for the chuckle .
Didn’t the Cardinals have the 6th best ERA in the MLB last year ? Is 6th bad ? I don’t know how baseball works … 🙁
Haha ERA, how about wins? How about run differential at home?
did you just mention wins! Omg I cant stop laughing…you do realize that the Cy young award pitcher this year Degrom was 10-9…lol wins
not pitcher wins you dummy, overall wins/losses as a team. where did you “rank” there? lol
Hint: it isn’t 6th
Lol who cares that was last years team…you make no sense
stan lee the manly
Wow Juice. Usually you at least try to fit some baseball logic (as biased as it is) into your anti-Cardinals posts, but this is just a whole ‘nother level. Roark, Castillo, and Wood better than the Cardinals top three starters with Martinez, Flaherty, Mikolas, Wacha, and potentially Reyes in the rotation? Not to mention the possibility of Hudson sliding in if needed? I mean, come on man, let’s try to maintain at least some semblance of reality here.
And Goldy’s numbers were BETTER on the road last year than at home. BETTER. That means, when he was not at Arizona. All I can do is shake my head and hope I don’t ever replace the love I have for baseball with this much animosity towards another team.
Payne was talking about pitching..so of course I thought you were talking pitching? Keep calling other people names it makes you look great
juice go bye bye…he is tired of the embarrassment
“…Wacha, and potentially Reyes in the rotation? Not to mention the possibility of Hudson sliding in if needed?”
Lol, I think this statement sums up your delusional as a Cards fan
The only place Hudson will be sliding is back to the minors along with Reyes.
Juice has a job and a family…so yes i did go bye bye…its called responsibilities
You just proved my point by mentioning Degrom…lol
Logic evades you on the daily
Your price is spot on… it’s just the team you predict.. and BTW.. it will be a 3 yr with an option..
Ridiculous to have such a high payroll and leave bullpen vulnerable. Dombrowski had issues building bullpens in Detroit, definitely not his strong point. There is bound to be drop off with workload of starters last year. So a strong bullpen is needed.
Yup.. in Detroit..this is Boston.. and now he has already won a WS here.. and with that, and a 108 win regular season, comes some redemption… and I do not think the average fan realizes how much input Tony LaRussa has in regards to how this club is put together..
I have to think that DD is posturing here. He has too much invested elsewhere on the roster to leave the bullpen up to a skeleton crew of relievers. I suppose Eovaldi can close if needed, but that certainly isn’t the plan at the moment.
There’s also the option to sign a less heralded RP to close, someone who can deliver comparable results for a smaller commitment. Cody Allen springs to mind. He had a down year in 2018, killing his value, but was an elite finisher the previous 4 seasons.
As a Braves & pirates fan stuck in NE Ohio i see a lot of Indians games. i believe Cody Allen will be a huge bounce back player for whichever team signs him.
Allen could/should be better in 2019, but I’m not sure he’s a solid closer option for a team with World Series aspirations at this point. Bullpens are getting more important in MLB, not less. Weird for the Sox to cut corners here.
How does a team fresh off a World Series win cry poor?
Winning the MLB World title just made John Henry & co. oodle gobs of profit.
I agree with the writer of this post, stop being stingy and pay the guy. Or forget about 100+ wins and watch your other relievers hand away games that you should have nailed down.
They are hardly crying poor. They just spent more money than every other team in MLB in 2018. Now they need to rein it in a bit and get their payroll down to a more manageable level. They need to reset the luxury tax over the next couple years. I always figured they would cut corners after this season when several high-salary guys most likely leave. They still figure to have the highest payroll in 2019 regardless of who they sign to close.
According to other comment sections on this site, being unwilling to spend money without thought for the future means a team is ‘broke’
At least that’s what every other comment would be if this was a statement by the Cubs….
Though personally I think this is the smart call. Kimbrel doesn’t look the kind to age well based on his 2018
The 2018 that was better than his ’15-’16, and that only suffers in comparison to his monstrous ’17 and superhuman ATL tenure?
Christ, you all talk about Kimbrel like he’s Mets era K-Rod or something.
He lost 1mph of velocity and was basically average.
If I was a GM I wouldn’t gamble 80 million on that.
Once a reliever starts to go, he tends to go fast. Kimbrel could very well regain form, but again, how much would any sane man bet on that?
Uh, nope he gained a mystery MPH that just hung out for ’17. He’s been between 96.8-97.3 otherwise. His 97.1 in 2018 is totally normal.
Basically average? Ah you’re adorable.
“Once a reliever starts to go, he tends to go fast.”
The ol’ unarguable ill-defined platitude capper. Can’t do nothin’ about that…
Prove me wrong on the platitude, Sparky.
The average life span of an ‘elite’ closer is all of 3 seasons
Didn’t say it was wrong, said it was “unarguable” as most platitudes are. It’s all nebulous: you get to define what “starts to fall off” means, who’s started to fall off and why, and now with the switch from “relievers” to “elite” closers, I gotta chase that goalpost you’re moving already.
I’m sure that 3 season average life-span is sabermetrically sound and not at all kind of just made up, but it’s context free, doesn’t illustrate any cause/effect relationship between being a closer and having a short lifespan (does that mean career or peak?), and moot as Kimbrel will be entering his 10th season.
So see, unarguable.
A platitude based in sound factual evidence is by definition not a platitude, since it’s a factual statement.
Everything you said beyond conceding it was based on sound factual evidence then becomes disposable
20 million for a closer coming off a bad year is always a bad gamble, no matter what the context
I mean, 20 million a year for any closer, or close to it, has almost always been a bad gamble… I’m struggling to think of one who’s consistently been worth it…
No it isn’t.
No it doesn’t.
I agree. If only Kimbrel was coming off of a bad year/I had ever, anywhere said anything about thinking he should get $20 million a year..
Kimbrell for 3-4 yrs at $16-18 per vs. resigning Kelly and adding Andrew Miller for $50-60 total for two arms. Sorry but I think DD blew this one.
The real one he let get away was DRob.. a very affordable 2yr +option deal.. but, this is what also leads me to believe they are waiting out the Kimbrel market and will bid against any real offers.. not against themselves.. just as they did with JD Martinez last year..
A perfect example of knowing when to bid and when not to is Eovaldi Vs. Kimbrel..Eovaldi had a much better market and the RS moved on him..and fast.
People always use hindsight and tact on a couple million and say see they could have had this guy and this guy for these prices. Sure if you believe that money was the only factor in the decision. It’s easy to use hindsight and determine the best decisions after the market has been established. It’s easy to say yeah people should have bought googles shares before google was google, it’s hard to predict and buy into the next google like thing.
By asking what the highest offer the guy has and always going over that amount is a good way to overpay and bid against yourself too.
Hopefully he and Boras implode and hesits out a year waiting for his demands to get met.
Worst case he signs a one-year deal for $18M. He’s getting paid, he just might not get the deal he wants. And heck, even if he sits out, and never plays again, the man’s a multi-millionaire. You can laugh at him for overplaying his hand, but unless he Dykstra’s his money, he’ll be just fine.
Kelly throws gas. If the BoSox didn’t intend to re-sign Kimbrel, they should have definitely held on to Kelly and brought in another upper-crest reliever. Miller would have been a nice grab. D.D. has blown it if he doesn’t keep Kimbrel.
I still don’t care what he cost, braves need some major bullpen upgrades. Go get kimbrel and at least one other top arm, spend whatever it takes, and I’ll be ok with whatever we got going into the season for RF and SP
You should, but your team definitely does – as well they should. ATL has several needs in the bullpen if they want to upgrade. Relying another year on Viz/Minter as your top-2 choices is shaky at best but it’s not like Kimbrel is the only closer available still. I’d be just as fine with sweetheart deal for Cody Allen and give Minter another year to mature while slowly cutting the cord on “Everyone Hits the Viz”. I don’t know many teams where the most expensive pitcher on their staff is the closer – not saying that’s a bad thing for ATL, but they need several arms (and not just Folty) to take the next step.
Somebody will eventually meet his demands.
St. Louis caved in to Holland last year.
and what happened there?
The Cards didn’t “cave” to Holland last year. He held out for a 3 or 4 year deal and when the music stopped there were no chairs. The Cards swooped in and got him for WAY less than his asking price. One year $14M is a great deal for a proven closer. As it turned out, missing ST was huge and Holland was AWFUL for the Cards and cost them several wins. That’s why free agents are almost always a gamble. Yes the Cards regretted the sign but it was in no way a “cave” on their part. Holland was the one who caved.
and Kimbrel wonders why teams are laughing in his face. Idk what it is with relievers, but every year they seem to fluctuate in performance.
Chicks Dig the Longball
They are asked to perform in extremely small sample sizes. If a reliever has a bad inning, say 3 or 4 runs. It would take a month of shutout baseball from him to lower that to a respectable level. Now what happens if you have a bad month as a reliever? Statistically your season turns to garbage. Look at Hector Neris last season.
Now if a starter has a bad inning, lots of times he will have 4-5 other innings to save the outing. Now starters will never have the super low ERAs and WHIPs that elite relievers do, but their stats are way less likely to be as volatile season to season.
I tend to agree – and coming from someone that thinks closers are the easiest MLB position to replace – Kimbrel is the epitome of consistency. The man has finished in the top-9 of Cy Young voting 5x (twice in top-5), while compiling a lifetime ERA/FiP under 2.00 and a SO/9 above 14. He’d have 40 saves every year of his career if BOS’s offense wasn’t so good.
Maybe Mariano has made me underappreciate Kimbrel (even as a Braves fan), but the guy is a model of consistency.
Yeah I wouldnt wanna back the truck of cash up to Kimbrel as well. Hes got serious control issues.
As much as i’d like Kimbrel back in Atl, he just doesn’t fit.
He’s a luxury. He’s leather bucket seats. The Braves have bigger fish to fry.
Plus, with Vizcaino and Minter on hand, really all the Braves need is to orchestrate a reunion with Bud Norris or Jim Johnson again to close by committee.
It’s not sexy, but it’ll hold.
Uhhh…Our bullpen was horrible last year and you want to throw in Bud Norris or Jim Johnson to fix the problem?
Don’t point to Vizcaino being healthy, he was healthy for 2/3 of the season last year. He’s not a strong closer.
Neither is Minter.
This team doesn’t have a good option to finish ball games and it doesn’t have depth. Chad Sobotka was pitching in the 7th inning in the playoffs for us last year. Not that he was bad in the regular season, but we’re taking about a guy who had 14 IP in the regular season being handed the ball late in an elimination game down 1 run in October because our pen was so weak.
And how well did that end up? It pretty much put the nail in the coffin dropping us back 4 runs in that game.
Let’s not forget the 1 game we did manage to win was also no walk in the park for Vizcaino and Minter to nail down. Both let two base runners reach in a one run game and played with fire to lose it. Yeah they got out of it with some timely strikeouts but putting a bunch of guys on is a recipe for disaster.
The fact is the Braves rotation is young which means there’s even a stronger need to shorten the game as much as possible. Everyone thinks a TOR starter is our huge need but it’s not. Adding Kimbrel (and another arm like maybe Cody Allen at this point) to combine with Vizcaino and Minter would help shorten the game and effectively help our starting pitching in the process as well.
But if Jim Johnson is good enough solution to those of you who don’t want Kimbrel or another top tier reliable arm for the pen don’t be mad when you get the same results as last October.
I highly doubt AA gives Kimbrel a huge muti yr deal. Doesn’t fit his MO. He’d be more likely to trade for the rangers closer who’s name escapes me at the moment.
I would not go beyond three-years and $54 million for Kimbrel – no way. I thought Kelvin Herrera would fit well in Boston on a two-year deal.
Robertson would have been even better of a fit for their pen
… agreed on Robertson.
Yeah, Holland came apart, but that was no big surprise.
He doesn’t quite have the track record of Kimbrel.
Point is, if a team caved for Holland, they will give in to Kimbrel.
Also worth pointing out is that Holland didn’t really “come apart”. He’s the same pitcher. I’m not sure what it was, but he there was clearly an issue with something minor when he joined St. Louis mid-season. Although they couldn’t fix it, it was easily corrected when he went to Washington, as he posted a 0.84 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and 10.5 K/9 in 21.1 innings. The peripherals weren’t quite as pretty (2.97 FIP), but the St. Louis version of him clearly wasn’t the real thing.
My prediction is that the Sox land Kimbrel on a shorter term deal. The catch will be that the AAV matches Chapmen and Jansen. My guess is 3 years, 50-54 million gets it done.
If it was between resigning Kelly and Kimbrel, or signing Eovaldi, I’m all in favor of the way it’s gone. If Barnes and company cant get games closed reasonably by June1, give the job to Eovaldi. He will be way more flexible than Kimbrel, as to when he comes in, and how many batters he faces.
I agree spitball. Boston has SP depth and I personally think Eovaldi best serves the team in an Andrew Miller-type capacity. He was Boston’s best reliever in the postseason.
$14MM was caving for Holland. That’s why no other team except for the Cardinals budged. They just couldn’t buy a save…and then couldn’t buy one with a $14MM stopper.
Maybe a Reds Red Sox trade could be done. Reds need a center fielder. Sox need a closer. Maybe some package with Jackie Bradley Jr to Cincinnati and Raisel Iglesias to Boston
If you are a Reds fan….unless there is major additions on the Boston side, you are getting fleeced by just getting Bradley back…..
That’s why I say a package. Iglesias for Bradley would not be even up. Reds still need starting pitching and a bullpen arm or two to offset losing Iglesias.
I heard you man, but the Red Sox can’t afford to include bullpen arms when that would be the motivation for their interest in acquiring Iglesias, and they also don’t have the pitching either at the majors or minors to embrace such a trade. A package beyond Bradley shouldn’t even come close to what the Reds would want back for a rising star Closer like Iglesias!
Funny. Has any player been mentioned more in trade rumors than Bradley. I am hoping they do trade him so we can find out what he is really worth. Very little in my opinion at his 10 million salary .
“Very little in my opinion at his 10 million salary .” That is funny.
Rangers just signed Eric Gagne. Wanna trade for him again, Red Sox? Cmon…
Last time DD made a statement like that was after Ortiz retired, n they never replaced him till the next yr they signed JD. this will turn out to be a frustrating yr if they don’t have a closer. DD needs to do something!!
As I said…I would LOVE to have Kimbrel back in Atl…but not at over $15MM/year. No way. Not for a one inning pitcher.
I’m not saying Norris or Johnson are perfect fits. I’m saying they are cheap options who are experienced closers.
I agree on Viz, his arm is getting a little worse for wear. But I disagree on Minter, I think he has the stuff to develop into a reliable closer.
If I get who I want, on this current FA market, it’s Cody Allen.
I’d much rather see the Braves sink money into RF or a legit ace, other than a one inning pitcher.
I’d rather the Braves have sunk money into a catcher (Grandal) but they seem content not to do that.
As for RF, any option worth adding isn’t that expensive from a financial perspective. There isn’t an attractive RF FA for them to sign. And the most expensive trade candidate (from a contract perspective since we’re talking payroll) is likely David Peralta making $6-7 mil in arb. Other options IMO were Domingo Santana (but he’s been traded already), Hunter Renfroe or Franmil Reyes (pre arb and cheap), Nomar Mazara ($3-4 mil in arb), or one of the young Reds outfielders who find themselves with a log jam after their Kemp and Puig additions.
Nick Castellanos defense doesn’t make him a fit here. Same for Jose Martinez.
They could have spent on Michael Brantley (if you trust him but is now a moot point) but otherwise all viable RF to fill the position come relatively cheap financially.
And it’s not spending just to spend with Kimbrel either. Their bullpen really does need improvement which everyone keeps downplaying, front office and fans alike. The game has changed to shortening it. Teams are quick to pull starters in the playoffs now and go to the pen. And the Braves lack there.
Time for the Braves to jump on this. 3 year deal with some kind of option for a fourth, possibly vesting through performance
$80 million over 16 years.
$5 million AAV
Who gets slapped back into reality first with their ridiculous contract demands? Pollock or Kimbrel?
Interesting, but the Red Sox never seemed like they were going to go near Kimbrel’s ask in the first place. In the history of the game, there’s only been a handful of closers who maintained their dominance for an extended period. Kimbrel has been remarkable, but he’s not quite the pitcher he was with Atlanta. Do you want to bet a huge amount over the next, say, 5 years, that he’s going to stay at the 2018 level?
I don’t see how Pollock gets anything more than one year contracts. He has to be the most brittle player in all of MLB.
He is the new Bip Roberts, lol.
I remember the Bipper! Good dude, not sure he ever looked as good offensively as Pollock though
Usually, you don’t need to start the year with a closer, you just need to finish it with one. Relievers are so volatile year to year, if the bullpen underperforms, just go get someone who is dealing that year at the deadline. Only negative to this is for the RS in particular, it might cost them the division, but I doubt even that would stop a deep postseason run.
That’s a good point. A lot of teams don’t necessarily NEED that dominant closer right out of the gates. A lot of times, teams wait until the trade deadline.
But…some of those early season games you let get away may come back to haunt you.
It’s a Catch-22.
Dombrowski never emphasizes the bullpen no matter what team he’s in charge of.
He spent mightily on his bull pen this time. He traded for Kimbrel an have gave up assets and this past year, he had a great bull pen. Kimbrel is NOT worth 4 to 6 years at 80-100 million when there are so many relievers out there and a much lower cost. Boston is at max dollars and coming off a World Series win so cut DD some slack since he has a ton of his young stars ready to make some huge bucks. He will be in better shape in 2020 when some huge contracts come off the books and he will sign a few arms and someone will get a chance to be a Closer that could surprise everyone. Boston is in the best position to wait this out since they just won a World Series and repeating just doesn’t happen that often so don’t expect them to win it all in 2019 but they are not going to be a push over either. NYY has the oldest SP in the AL East so I would be more fearful of TB than the NYY. As a Tiger fan, I enjoyed watching some ex Tigers win it for Boston and I as happy for DD who gave us two WS appearances. Its not his fault his bull pen guys didn’t rise to the occasion. His guys in Boston did.
The Red Sox had far from a great bullpen this past year. Sure, they had some guys step up in the playoffs, but they also started using their starters out of the pen because of how the relievers performed during the regular season. And to imply that TB is a more dangerous team than NY is asinine, name me one player on TB other than Snell who you’d rather have than their Yankees counterpart. Maybe Tommy Pham if you’re assuming Gardner is the starting LF? The conversation ends there though.
Of course he doesnt want to spend on a closer. That strategy worked so well for him in Detroit.
I don’t believe the Red Sox ever intended to sign Kimbrel. I do believe they have been done signing anyone else for a while now. They are going with Brasier to close.
If any more moves are going to happen, they will be trading away assets, not acquiring them.
Is he secretly talking with Preller about Yates and Stamen?
I think he has to have something like that in the works… Losing their best two relievers and then saying they aren’t going to spend there
I think DD is gambling on this one. I don’t think he ever intended to sign Kimbrel and is going to rely on his current guys probably give Barnes an opportunity to close. I also believe that he has a lot more belief in Durbin Feltman. I’m expecting to see Feltman make the Red Sox out of spring training. Depending on how Barnes and other do at closing you could see Feltman closing a lot sooner then most Sox fans expect. He was drafted for this and there were some experts that thought he might even of made it to Boston last year. If Kimbrel falls into the Red Sox lap so be it but may not happen.
Kimbrel is over playing his hand and he will be lucky to get 4 years and 60 million. It will probably be the Phillies who give him that kind of cash too. DD will find some BP arms since there are a ton out there or he will trade for one. It would be easier if he could trade Bradley since he doesn’t seem likes he wants to trade Devers or Benentendi to get the Closer. He will find a few arms the market is still developing and once Kimbrel signs in Philly, it will move quicker.
The Sox need to add 3 good relievers. They have to replace Kimbrel and Kelly but also add a reliable 8th inning guy who they didn’t have all last year! They only reason it didn’t blow up in their faces is because they used starters as setup men in the playoffs, Brazier and Barnes are not cutting it.. Acting like they are the answer is just Sox Spin, backed up by their official mouthpiece, the Boston Globe.
Grandal would have been a horrible sign for the Braves. I am thankful A.A. knew better.
I’ll take the tandem of McCann & Flowers for one year over committing $15MM/season to Grandal over the next four years.
And no way do we want anything to do with any SD OF’er.
Brantley would have been a gamble, like with Pollock, but even though Pollock is probably the better player, even Brantley probably isn’t as brittle as Pollock.
But I digress.
Not sure they have a ton of trade chips, but he may go the trade route. He traded for Kimbrel initially after all.
Pitches Love Velocity
Chavis Groome Dalbec and Mata are their best chips. Even devers if they prefer to keep chavis over him.
Just depends what the Sox want and what theyre willing to give up.
Are the Sox really down on Devers, is he actually considered moveable?
What would the ask be? Yates + ?
Pitches Love Velocity
Padres had a lot of interest in Jay groome leading up to the draft and would have interest in someone like Dalbec as they have a need at 3B.
Padres have a lot of cheap relievers like yates stammen stock that would fill the Sox pen needs so I’m sure there’s a deal to be had that could make both sides happy.
Hey what about Broxberger?
Pitches Love Velocity
Low risk gamble but he had a forgettable 2018 with the snakes.
have they thought about the giants? the giants have at least 3 guys, watson, smith and Dyson that could move and all have had late inning and closer experience
stan lee the manly
I think this pretty much ensures Kimbrel’s not going to get more than four years. That’s a big spender off the table
Pitches Love Velocity
If he gets a 5th year it will probably be a club option with a buy out.
stan lee the manly
My thoughts exactly, that extra year, $1 mil buyout has been pretty popular this offseason so that would be pretty reasonable at this point.
Not exactly the caliber of closer a team aspiring for a title retention puts their faith in.
For that matter, just let your best in-house option have a chance.
I think Braves and Kimbrel reunion is looking more and more likely. As a Nats fan, I wouldn’t like that one bit. He owns everyone on Nationals at the moment.
It would have it’s plus side…our team needs to be able to lock down every win possible…but if we get Kimbrel back, next year or down the road, I don’t wanna hear “we can’t afford it” because we’re paying Kimbrel a bloody fortune.
This comment is why Boston shouldnt just throw a huge contract at Kimbrel. Fine if it is a 1 year deal but not ok for 4, 5, 6 and that limits funds to sign their yoing core who are about to get really paid.
When you’re a large market team coming off a World Series win, like Boston, and you are firmly in a contention window…there is absolutely no reason to cut corners.
If you are a mid-market club, like Atlanta, you have to be a little bit more conscious of what you’re spending and where you’re spending it.
First things first.
Crying poor despite:
– Just winning a World Series.
– Being in one of baseball’s largest and most profitable markets.
While being openly and vocally willing to go into the season with a skeleton bullpen. JUST because they don’t want to pay a luxury tax? This is one of the most pathetic things I’ve ever seen unfold in the MLB. In some respects it’s more insulting than the 1998 Marlins firesale. The team is actively and intentionally weakening itself to avoid taxes while at least the Marlins admitted they were tearing the whole thing down because they couldn’t afford to maintain a competitive team due to their market.
stan lee the manly
While I agree with you, it won’t be all bad. If they use this year to reset the luxury tax, they will just bump it up to a much higher payroll in 2020. Go crazy and sign Arenado and trade Devers maybe.
I don’t see them trading Devers. Maybe moving him to play 1B and still going after Arenado. Or depending on if Devers improves defensively, leaving him at 3B and going after Goldschmidt.
stan lee the manly
You can’t have him! Lol, I hope the Cardinals will lock Goldy up before he hits the market and he won’t even be an option for the Sox
Fine! But lock him up and keep him in the NL, lol.
Nobody is crying poor and they’ll have a top payroll again. There are penalties for exceeding the luxury tax worth avoiding and honestly bullpen is a great spot to save money, especially when you’ve invested so much in a rotation. Remember their bullpen was not good enough last year to win in the playoffs according to most and they had a duvkboat parade desite that. Give the guys thry have a chance and trade in July if you must.
Everyone has to remember this…
There is not one owner in MLB that is losing money. Not one.
Any player they sign as a FA…that player is worth 10 times that amount to the owner, if not more.
If I were a Red Sox fan, I would not be pleased with what D.D. stated. Not one bit. I would hope he is only posturing.
Im a RS fan and love what he said. I think closers are relatively easy to create, especially in todays game where so many pitchers are trained for max effort for few innings. Rare, elite closers may be worth it but Kimbrel isnt that guy anymore. Dont spend money just to spend and have some vision beyond 2019, seems smart to me.
And this not wanting to exceed the luxury tax…please.
Those overages are peanuts to MLB owners.
The only real damage is being pushed back 10 draft slots.
If you are a legitimate threat for a MLB World championship, paying that luxury tax overage is literally nothing.
Owners are just mega-greedy.
240+ million in payroll plus increased luxury tax penalties and drops in draft spots is a lot no matter how much money the owner has to spend on the team. Remember Their owner has other things he invests in outside of baseball. Bogearts will probably end up walking so mookie can be extended at this rate
The draft penalties and int bonus money won’t affect the team for 3,4,5 yrs down the road. It will be compounded if they go over again this year as two years of that will gut the farm. If the Redsox win again this year and in 5-7 yrs when a massive rebuild will probably be needed the fans better not complain. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t cry and scream the owner is cheap and than when he produces a WS winner and possibly multiple rings not support the team when it’s rebuilding.
In today’s baseball it’s easy to spend 240 mil on players over 30 but if you don’t have a farm that supplies players making 550k than its hard for me to envision success.
You think Boston would gladly trade David Price for Kimbrel right now? Imagine coming off a World Series win and not having enough money to sign a closer? The Sox have done as bad of a job with their roster as the Cubs. You can’t sustain a winning program if you greatly over spend in certain areas and the same can be said for trading your farm system away which is exactly what Dombrowski has done in Boston. Oh and Boston’s isn’t the only farm system Dombrowski has gutted just ask Detroit how they’ve been since Dombrowski left town. That guy only knows one way to get players and it’s by overpaying whether it’s via trade or free agency.
You can build a bullpen from mostly your farm, the Yankees have been experts in that over the years. Look at what spending 100 million on the bullpen last year did for the Rockies for example. Price is more valuable than kembrel imo
Listen I’m all for teams having sustainable success and I’m of the opinion of your in the playoffs enough times you’ll eventually win the WS once but your acting as if the cubs and Redsox didn’t win and were massive failures. The Redsox have the money it’s just how much they want to go over the tax as it appears inevitable they’ll go over again this year particularly if they’re contending and need upgrades at the deadline.
I’m surprised GMs are even allowed to say stuff like this. Not because I think they shouldn’t be but according to the CBA GMs aren’t allowed to say they’re out on a player. By saying he doesn’t expect a large FA signing in the pen he’s effectively saying to other teams he’s out on Kimbrel. Now obviously it’s a negotiation tactic to lower kimbrel’s value as I’m sure he would love to sign Kimbrel to a short term contract.
They aren’t allowed to talk about specific players but can make general statements like “we don’t plan on spending X dollars on Y position.
Then stop the agents from floating Hypothetical teams that may be in on a player.
It’s just posturing. DD isn’t going to come out and say they’ll back the brinks truck up for someone.
Dombrowski has always thought bullpens were overrated. He’s turning the Red Sox into the Tigers.
He spent money on the wrong bullpen pieces in Detroit. He traded for a couple bullpen pieces in Boston that didn’t work out.. Maybe he just doesnt like the odds of bullpen pieces being counted on long term. When he acquired Kimbrel, it was a limited commitment.
So what’s the plan if not Kimbrel? Be the defending champs and spend $230 million on your team and forget about having an adequate bullpen?
They lost Kimbrel who is asking too much and already was enough of a question that he didnt close a couple of postseason games he was available for and Kelly who was considered a liability until the playoffs. They have Barnes, Brasier, Thornburg, Johnson, Poyner, Velazquez, Wright, Hembree and a few intriguing minor league arms. It is dominant but serviceable and that was all the pen was considered last fall. The pen backs up a rotation making nearly $90M. They shouldnt have to carty a big load.
It’s $240M, plus luxury tax, plus Rusney’s Castillo’s salary. So $270M, really. And yes, that’s the plan. They can maybe spend $5M more on a reliever, but that’s it.
Still a massive, admirable commitment to winning, on their part. As a Yankee fan, all I can do is be jealous of it. The Yankees are much richer, and seem unwilling to spend $270M.
There is another possibility. It’s not your beginning pay roll that you are taxed on. It’s possible that the Red Sox do sign Kimbrel and take a chance on winning it all again. If they have injuries or just don’t perform to expectations they can retract some at the trade deadline and go back under the 246 million mark and avoid losing 10 spots in the draft and international money. If they are hitting on all cylinders then you try for the repeat in 2019 and accept the penalties. They are currently at a projected 237 million according to Cots so they are currently 9 million shy of the highest penalty level.
Oh and by the way Stansfield is the Yankees sign Machado the they will have a pay roll right there with the Red Sox this year.
It must be nice to come from a city like NY, L.A. & Boston where you can pay your ball club between $200-$300MM. Atlanta will eclipse it’s old record payroll and we will still be sitting at around $150MM.
I’m not sure the Braves have ever topped $115MM in a season.