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.
I've heard execs from 2 teams say this week that Craig Kimbrel is looking for a deal north of $100 million for 6 years.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 13, 2018
He's one of the greatest closers of all time. But is there a record deal out there for him? Hard to say in a bullpen market that has barely moved.
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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