Red Sox

Red Sox

How's this for a plot twist in the Craig Kimbrel saga: The free-agent closer finally lands on the Boston Red Sox's American League East competitor.

That's apparently on the table, as the Tampa Bay Rays are "among the teams keeping in touch" with the still-unsigned Kimbrel, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported Sunday.

The Rays have company: The Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets recently have been tied to Kimbrel, per reports, while the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins also have been mentioned as teams that could end Kimbrel's long unemployment since he left the Red Sox in November.

Tampa Bay would be a logical fit for Kimbrel, though. Kevin Cash's unconventional club doesn't have a defined closer -- Diego Castillo, Jose Alvarado and Emilio Pagan currently share duties -- and often uses relievers as "openers" in the first inning.

But the Rays' hot start to 2019 -- they lead the AL East with a 24-15 record -- could make them buyers for a legitimate closer ahead of the trade deadline, and with an MLB-low $62 million payroll, they certainly have the cash to make Kimbrel that midseason pickup.

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