The 2019 MLB season is in full swing, and Craig Kimbrel still doesn't have a team.
It's bizarre seeing one of the best closers of all time still on the market, especially when you consider the number of teams in need of bullpen help. But according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, Kimbrel's asking price remains far too high. As recently as late March, the 2018 World Series Champion has asked for a five-year deal worth approximately $100 million.
"When the market didn’t develop for Kimbrel like [Kimbrel's agent David Meter] thought it would, he stuck to his guns and, even as late as March, was still seeking a five-year pact in the $100 million range. It was a clear miscalculation of Kimbrel’s true market value, and not consistent with the actual offers or ranges teams had given him."
Kimbrel was linked to Milwaukee as a potential destination at the beginning of the season, but those talks seem to have cooled down. The Brewers could use a presence in the back of their 'pen alongside Josh Hader with Corey Knebel and Jeremy Jeffress both injured. Of course, if those reported contract demands are accurate, it's easy to see why they'd go in a different direction.
Saturday evening, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported figures for Kimbrel that are different than Bowden's, and they're far more reasonable:
Free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel continues to seek a deal he believes to be fair and in the range of two recent free-agent relievers, Wade Davis (3 years, $52M) and Zack Britton (3/$39M), sources tell The Athletic.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 13, 2019
Kimbrel posted a 2.74 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP, 96 strikeouts and 31 walks over 62 1/3 innings for the Red Sox last year. Once he brings his price down a notch, there's no reason he shouldn't be able to find a home.
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