Red Sox

MLB Rumors: Craig Kimbrel reportedly looking for nine-figure contract

MLB Rumors: Craig Kimbrel reportedly looking for nine-figure contract

When Dave Dombrowski was asked about re-signing Craig Kimbrel, he suggested it was unlikely, adding that the Sox "weren't going to be overly aggressive with big expenditures" at the closer position.

Exactly how big of an expenditure would be needed to sign the seven-time All-Star is reportedly outrageous.

A nine-figure contract like that wouldn't just break the bank for closers; it would smash it into little pieces, then run over those pieces with a steamroller. So far, the largest contract handed out to a reliever was the 5-year, $86 million dollar deal the Yankees gave Aroldis Chapman two years ago.

And while there's no doubt that Kimbrel remains one of the elite closers in the game, he's coming off a 2018 season where he had a 2.74 ERA and gave up a career-high seven home runs. He then struggled mightily to start the postseason before settling down to help the Sox clinch their fourth World Series title in 15 seasons.

It remains to be seen if any bidders will meet that sky-high asking price, but don't count on Kimbrel coming back to Boston in 2019.

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Report: MLB gave players immunity in exchange for testimonies in sign-stealing scandal

Report: MLB gave players immunity in exchange for testimonies in sign-stealing scandal

While ex-Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were slapped with year-long suspensions and subsequently fired for their roles in the team's sign-stealing scandal, players involved were completely exonerated.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred explained his decision not to penalize the players by calling it “difficult and impractical." But according to The Wall Street Journal, the league and the MLB Players Association agreed to a deal that granted immunity to players in exchange for honest testimony.

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via WSJ:

But there is a simpler explanation for why no players were penalized: The league and the MLB Players Association struck an agreement early in the process that granted immunity in exchange for honest testimony, according to several people familiar with the matter.

The league was quick to make such an offer, these people said, in part because it did not believe it would win subsequent grievances with any players it attempted to discipline ...

The deal is a sign of MLB’s desire for a speedy and conflict-free investigation, the continuing power of the baseball players’ union and the fragile state of the sport’s labor relations. The promise of amnesty allowed the league to interview 23 current and former Astros players during the two-month investigation.

The investigation resulted in the aforementioned suspensions as well as the Astros being fined $5 million and losing their first and second-round draft picks for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Manager Alex Cora mutually agreed to part ways with the Boston Red Sox shortly thereafter, and former Astros player Carlos Beltran stepped down from his new role as New York Mets manager. Cora had been the Astros bench coach and Beltran an Astros player in  2017 and both were mentioned prominently in MLB's report on the scheme.

MLB is in the middle of a separate sign-stealing investigation involving the 2018 Red Sox. Cora is expected to be handed a suspension as long -- if not longer -- than Hinch and Luhnow's once the investigation concludes.

MLB Rumors: Blue Jays 'have shown interest' in Brock Holt

MLB Rumors: Blue Jays 'have shown interest' in Brock Holt

Brock Holt continues to garner interest from teams in free agency with spring training less than a month away. 

The ex-Boston Red Sox utilityman could be staying in the American League East, as the Toronto Blue Jays are in the mix to sign him, according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com.

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With young guns Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. holding down the fort, Toronto's starting infield is already in great shape. But Holt, just as he did in Boston, would provide much-needed depth and versatility off the bench.

As for whether the Red Sox could swoop in and re-sign Holt, that's unlikely after last month's acquisition of fellow utilityman Jose Peraza.

On Monday, it was reported the Cincinnati Reds were among the teams interested in signing Holt.

The 31-year-old hit .297 in 87 games with the Red Sox last season.

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