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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Michael Chavis was really pulling for rookie rule 5 pick Jonathan Arauz to record his first hit on Monday night. So when the infielder ripped a Ryan Yarbrough offering to deep center field, Chavis thrust both arms over his head in celebration.
Just one problem: Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier.
Kiermaier raced onto the warning track and appeared to mistime his leap, but managed to hang in the air just long enough to corral the drive before tumbling to the dirt in front of the center field fence. Instead of his first big-league knock, the 22-year-old Panamanian simply had his first loud out, and Chavis couldn't hide his frustration on his teammate's behalf.
When he realized the ball had landed in Kiermaier's glove, Chavis dropped his hands and raised his middle finger in Kiermaier's direction before simply covering his face.
Not the first time the three-time Gold Glover has elicited that reaction, and undoubtedly not the last.
Brian Johnson apparently isn't part of the Boston Red Sox' pitching plans in 2020.
The Red Sox have released the veteran left-hander, manager Ron Roenicke confirmed to reporters Monday. Roenicke suggested Johnson requested his release so he could see the field elsewhere.
"Johnson felt like he wanted an opportunity," Roenicke said, via MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo. "Sometimes you need to go other places to get that."
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MassLive.com's Christopher Smith reported earlier in the day that Johnson left the team's alternate training site in Pawtucket to return home to Florida, and we now know why.
Johnson appeared to have a chance to crack the Red Sox' thin starting rotation before the 2020 season began. He was on Boston's 2019 Opening Day roster and made seven starts last season, posting a 6.02 ERA over 40.1 innings pitched.
The 29-year-old hasn't been called up to Boston's active roster this season, though, a sign the Red Sox don't view him as a viable option ahead of hurlers like Ryan Weber, Matt Hall, Chris Mazza, Zack Godley and Dylan Covey.
Johnson was a first-round draft pick of the Red Sox in 2012 and has spent his entire career in Boston's organization. He made his major league debut in 2015 and pitched in four different seasons for the Red Sox, compiling a 4.74 ERA over 171 innings pitched and winning a World Series with the club in 2018.