Red Sox

Could Craig Kimbrel's return to Red Sox be "a foregone conclusion"?

Could Craig Kimbrel's return to Red Sox be "a foregone conclusion"?

He may not get that six-year deal his agent said he was initially looking for, but Craig Kimbrel is likely headed back to the Red Sox after finding a surprisingly tepid free agent market for a 30-year-old closer who's 14th on the all-time saves list with 333.

That's the conclusion of veteran baseball writer Richard Justice of MLB.com. In his rundown of potential landing spots for the seven remaining high-profile, free-agent relievers, Justice writes of Kimbrel: 

He might not get the six-year deal the Red Sox have resisted giving the 30-year-old right-hander. But he could still match the largest contract ever given a closer, that being the five-year, $86 million deal Aroldis Chapman got from the Yankees two offseasons ago. With the loss of Kelly and the lack of a proven closer being the only real question for the defending champions, Kimbrel's destination seems a foregone conclusion.

Joe Kelly signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, leaving the Sox closer options dwindling, though Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and Alex Cora have expressed faith in setup men Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes to close. Dombrowski also stated publicly at the winter meetings that the team wasn't planning on "big expenditures on an elite closer."  

Still, if Kimbrel's price comes down and a veteran closer is preferred, a Kimbrel reunion could make sense, as NBC Sports Boston Red Sox Insider Evan Drellich reported earlier this winter.  

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

MLB Rumors: These six teams pursued Martin Perez before Red Sox landed him

MLB Rumors: These six teams pursued Martin Perez before Red Sox landed him

Martin Perez is no Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg. But the veteran left-hander reportedly drew a good amount of interest in free agency before the Boston Red Sox scooped him up.

A "handful" of MLB teams, including the American League East foe Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays, pursued Perez before the Red Sox agreed to terms with him Thursday night, MassLive's Chris Cotillo reported.

Perez's surface-level stats aren't very inspiring: The 28-year-old posted a 5.12 ERA with the Minnesota Twins last season after the worst campaign of his career with the Texas Rangers in 2018 (6.22 ERA, 1.78 WHIP).

But what Perez does provide is durability: He's appeared in at least 32 games in three of the last four seasons, topping 165 innings in each of those campaigns.

Durable left-handers aren't a dime a dozen in MLB, which explains why Perez drew interest from several clubs looking to fill out their rotations entering 2020.

The Venezuela native should be a rotation-filler in Boston, projecting as Boston's fifth starter behind Chris Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi with Rick Porcello leaving to join the New York Mets in free agency.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Collaboration emerges as key to Chaim Bloom's leadership style with Red Sox

Collaboration emerges as key to Chaim Bloom's leadership style with Red Sox

If there's a theme that's emerging in Chaim Bloom's first two months as Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer, it's collaboration. 

It was stressed by Sox owner John Henry said at Bloom's introductory press conference and, after a series of minor moves at the winter meetings this week, Bloom, the former Tampa Bay Rays executive, has continued to talk about how he'll integrate the advice of as many members of the Red Sox organization as he can in his decision-making,

"It's super important to me. The reason we were able to have the success [at Tampa Bay] that we did was the people and how we all worked together," Bloom told ESPN's Joon Lee. "I hope that an appreciation has something to do with how I was raised both by my parents and then also how I was raised in this game with the people I was around. The value of that was something that was shown to me by a lot of the mentors around this game.

"You just see how much more you can accomplish when people work together when they feel valued, when everyone recognizes that no one person has a monopoly on the truth and nobody has all the answers. We are only going to achieve our full potential if we're willing to work together and willing to be vulnerable and acknowledge that we can all learn from each other."

That approach is a sharp contrast to Bloom's Red Sox predecessor, Dave Dombrowski, who was said to rely mainly on veteran baseball men Tony La Russa and Frank Wren, who, like Dombrowski are no longer with the organization.

"[Bloom] is basically the direct opposite of Dombrowski," one rival front-office executive told ESPN's Lee. 

Henry seemed to be referring to Dombrowski, with his "one-man show" comment when Bloom was introduced to the Boston media.

"I would just say we were extremely desirous of bringing in someone who would augment and add as opposed to just bringing in someone who might have been an autocrat, for instance, a one-man show," Henry said at the time.  

So, with big decisions on Mookie Betts and David Price still to come this offseason, and smaller moves in the books, such as parting ways with Rick Porcello, who signed with the Mets, and adding utility man Jose Peraza as a likely replacement for Brock Holt, Bloom will not be going it alone. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.