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.  

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Red Sox' Alex Verdugo robs home run, celebrates with awesome reaction

Red Sox' Alex Verdugo robs home run, celebrates with awesome reaction

Alex Verdugo made best play of his young Boston Red Sox career Friday night, and he was well aware of it.

With the Red Sox leading the Blue Jays by two runs in the ninth inning, Verdugo leaped in front of the right field bullpen at Fenway Park to rob Toronto's Travis Shaw of a home run.

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The play was impressive in its own right, but the 24-year-old outfielder punctuated it with a great reaction.

Verdugo's scream of celebration was audible on the game broadcast (even above the fake crowd noise), a sign of just how fired up he was about the catch.

"I would say I’ve never screamed like that before,” Verdugo said after Boston's 5-3 win, via the Associated Press. “I used to be a pitcher back in the day. I was pretty hyped up."

Verdugo had two other reasons to be hyped up: He also blasted a pair of solo home runs, giving him three on the young season and earning a spot alongside legendary left-handed slugger Mo Vaughn.

The Red Sox aren't expected to make much noise this season, but it appears the former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder will do his best to raise the decibel level.

Red Sox vs. Blue Jays Highlights: Alex Verdugo homers twice in Boston's second straight win

Red Sox vs. Blue Jays Highlights: Alex Verdugo homers twice in Boston's second straight win

FINAL SCORE: Boston Red Sox 5, Toronto Blue Jays 3

IN BRIEF: Alex Verdugo homered twice and Mitch Moreland added one of his own in the Red Sox' win over the Blue Jays on Friday night. The Red Sox capitalized on a woeful outing from Blue Jays starter Tanner Roark, who walked five batters and allowed four runs in three innings pitched.

Sox starter Ryan Weber allowed two runs in three innings, then the bullpen put together an admirable effort to preserve the lead.

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BOX SCORE

RED SOX RECORD: 5-8

HIGHLIGHTS

Well, that escalated quickly

Verdugo's first Fenway homer

Moreland's two-run shot

Vlad Jr. brings Jays within one

Homer No. 2 for Verdugo...

...and then he robs one!

UP NEXT
vs. Blue Jays, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., NESN
vs. Blue Jays, Sunday, 1:35 p.m., NESN