Red Sox

MLB Rumors: Craig Kimbrel lowers price tag; is it in Red Sox's ballpark?

MLB Rumors: Craig Kimbrel lowers price tag; is it in Red Sox's ballpark?

Craig Kimbrel reportedly has lowered the very high bar he set in free agency.

The All-Star closer is "believed" to have dropped his asking price on his next contract from $96 million to $86 million, FanCred's Jon Heyman reported Thursday.

According to Heyman, though, that number is still "too rich" for the Boston Red Sox -- by a good margin, it appears. The Red Sox are interested in re-signing Kimbrel but are aiming for a four-year contract in "the $60 million to $70 million range, or perhaps a bit over that," Heyman reported.

Kimbrel initially sought a deal worth more than $100 million over six years, so it appears Boston is making progress. The 30-year-old may not take much more of a discount, though. Aroldis Chapman recently signed an $86 million deal, and Kimbrel arguably has a similar resume, with seven All-Star appearances and a 42-save season in 2018.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski reportedly has other irons in the fire, however.

Former New York Yankees reliever David Robertson still is on the Red Sox's radar, per Heyman, who notes Boston also could go the internal route, with Ryan Brasier a potential closer candidate after he came out of nowhere last season to post a 1.60 ERA over 34 appearances.

Kimbrel would be the first domino to fall, though: The Red Sox reportedly are waiting to see what happens with the veteran reliever before making any other moves.

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MLB Rumors: Red Sox interested in a reunion with Rick Porcello

MLB Rumors: Red Sox interested in a reunion with Rick Porcello

The Boston Red Sox may be trying to cut some payroll this offseason, but that isn't going to stop them from targeting some free agents. And that may include one of their own.

According to Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald, the Red Sox are having talks with Rick Porcello about a potential reunion. While the Red Sox may be interested in Porcello, Mastrodonato wrote that "it's unclear how aggressive the Red Sox will be in their pursuit."

He also noted that a short-term, incentive-based contract may make sense for both sides.

Porcello, soon to be 31, has spent the past five seasons with the Red Sox after being acquired in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Wilson, and Gabe Speier. He won the Cy Young Award in his second year with the team, 2016, but he has had issues in the seasons since that campaign.

In 2019, Porcello endured his worst campaign as a pro, logging a career-worst 5.52 ERA and 7.4 K/9, his worst mark since joining the Red Sox. Still, he posted a 14-12 record and still profiles as a solid back-end starter because of his ability to eat innings.

We'll soon see if the Red Sox end up being involved in the Porcello sweepstakes. If they are involved, they will have competition and may find themselves facing off with the likes of the New York Mets, who reportedly have an interest in Porcello.

Where Porcello ranks among the MLB's top 10 free agent starting pitchers>>>

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Travis Shaw says return to Boston Red Sox 'makes sense on paper'

Travis Shaw says return to Boston Red Sox 'makes sense on paper'

After being non-tendered by the Milwaukee Brewers, could a return to the Boston Red Sox be in order for Travis Shaw?

With Mitch Moreland hitting free agency, the Red Sox should be in the market for a left-handed-hitting first baseman. That makes Shaw an obvious fit, and the 29-year-old agrees a reunion with Boston would make sense.

Shaw discussed the situation with Rob Bradford on WEEI's Bradfo Sho podcast

"I got non-tendered this week. It was kind of a hard decision. The Brewers did offer me but I decided I kind of wanted a fresh start and was willing to risk to see what was out there free agent-wise," Shaw told Bradford. "Just wanted a fresh start after everything that happened last year. Like you said, [signing with the Red Sox] makes sense on paper now we’ll see with who else call or what other teams call. That’s kind of what we’re sorting through now. We’ve had quite a bit of interest so far over this week which is an encouraging sign for me. We’ll just go from there."

Before the 2017 season, the Red Sox traded Shaw to the Brewers in the deal that brought reliever Tyler Thornburg to Boston. In his first two years with Milwaukee, Shaw was an integral part of the offense with 30+ home runs and an OPS well above .800. Last season, however, Shaw missed some time with a wrist injury and saw his production dip significantly.

Assuming Shaw can return to the type of player we saw in '17 and '18, he makes for an intriguing option for Boston in free agency. Along with his potential at the plate, Shaw brings versatility to the table as he can adequately play multiple positions.

Right-handed sluggers Michael Chavis and Bobby Dalbec currently are the Red Sox' options at first base. Chavis was solid in his 2019 rookie campaign, and Dalbec enters 2020 as one of the organization's top prospects.

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