The season is now well underway, and there’s still no evidence that free agent hurlers Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel are close to inking new deals. It has mostly been crickets on the markets for both.
Kimbrel’s slate of potential suitors isn’t any clearer now than it was when we examined his market situation in early March. Neither has anything of significance occurred since we took a look at the possible Keuchel suitors about a week ago.
Those accomplished hurlers have to this point evidently not been willing to settle for pillow deals. It’s hard to blame them for that stance. It also makes it that much harder to guess how things will turn out — and when there’ll be a resolution.
Teams are continuing to make long-term investments in existing players through contract extensions, so it’s not as if they aren’t willing or able to consider future commitments at this stage of the season. But the ongoing insistence on multiple years seemingly makes it likelier that talks will continue to drag.
Waiting until after the June draft would allow the players to shed draft compensation requirements. When last we saw players approaching this caliber languish on the market into the season, one (Stephen Drew) inked in May while the other (Kendrys Morales) waited until just after the draft. Both settled for single-season deals.
When do you think Kimbrel will end up signing? (Link for app users.)
And how about Keuchel? (Link for app users.)