Red Sox

Red Sox sign top four draft picks

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Red Sox sign top four draft picks

It came down to the wire, but in the end, the Red Sox signed all of their first round draft picks from the 2011 class.

RHP Matt Barnes (19 overall), C Blake Swihart (26), LHP Henry Owens (36), and OF Jackie Bradley (40) all came to terms before the deadline, and will join the Red Sox organization with healthy signing bonuses.

Barnes reportedly received a 1.5 million signing bonus, slightly about the MLB average for that draft slot.

Swihart, considered the best catcher in the draft, got a whopping 2.5 million signing bonus, well beyond the average, and the most the Sox have ever given to a rookie. The Sox were dead set on getting him to sign, and had to pay up in order for him to not play for the Texas Longhorns.

Owens also signed for well above the MLB average, reportedly at 1.55 million.

The Sox were also successful in coming to terms with a number of other later draft picks. However, eighth-round pick Senquez Golson, a high school outfielder from Mississippi, elected to play football at Ole Miss, and 12th-round selection Deshorn Lake, a high school pitcher from Virginia, also chose not to sign.

Craig Kimbrel rejects qualifying offer, will enter free agency

Craig Kimbrel rejects qualifying offer, will enter free agency

To the surprise of almost no one, Craig Kimbrel rejected his $17.9 million qualifrying offer from the Red Sox and will test the free agent market for a bigger contract. 

Kimbrel is reportedly looking for a contract worth around $80 million, and this move will allow the Red Sox to receive a draft pick if Kimbrel signs elsewhere. 

Kimbrel recorded 42 saves for the Red Sox on the way to a World Series championship. However, Kimbrel was shaky in the postseason. He allowed seven earned runs in the playoffs but never lost a game in the ninth. 

Kimbrel may fetch big money this offseason as a big-name closer, so the Red Sox will have to decide whether its worth the long term commitment to retain his services. 

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Joe Kelly hopes to stay with Red Sox for rest of his career

Joe Kelly hopes to stay with Red Sox for rest of his career

Joe Kelly had an up-and-down 2018 season with the Red Sox. 

He started the season strong, solidifying himself as a key set up artist for closer Craig Kimbrel. But then he fell off to the point where Red Sox fans did not know if they could count on him in the postseason. 

Kelly finished the year with a 4.39 ERA, only to become one of the best relievers in baseball during the playoffs. In 11.1 innings, Kelly posted a 1.59 ERA with 16 strikeouts. 

Now, the 30-year old right hander is a free agent due for a considerable pay day. Howwever, Kelly told Jim Rome he doesn't see himself playing anywhere other than Boston. 

I love being apart of the team and the coaching staff we have... Everyone gets along so well and I don’t even feel like a free agent, I still feel like a part of the Boston Red Sox. It's a place I feel like I’m going to be the rest of my career. Free agency is going to be fun to see what teams are interested in me, but hopefully I can be a Red Sox for the rest of my career. 

We don't know if the Red Sox plan to spend the money necessary on Kelly or if Kimbrel's sitation will be the deciding factor in Kelly coming back, but at least we know where the releiver wants to be. 

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