Red Sox

Report: Without a team, ex-Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel may sit out season

Report: Without a team, ex-Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel may sit out season

While not drawing as much attention as the free agent sagas of Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, the fate of closer Craig Kimbrel has been one of baseball's most curious off-season storylines.

In the past week, Red Sox ownership has dubbed a Kimbrel return "extremely unlikely" but another report speculated that Machado's signing with the Padres could lead the closer back to Boston. Now, former Reds and Nationals GM Jim Bowden, an analyst for The Athletic and Sirius XM radio, reports that Kimbrel may sit out the season:

Kimbrel's agent told The Athletic and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal that the report is "utterly false."

Kimbrel, 31, had 42 saves for the Red Sox last season and is 14th on the all-time saves list with 333. He was reported to be initially seeking a six-year, $100 million deal this offseason, but like Machado and Harper, found few takers.

The Red Sox made a $17 million qualifying offer to him in order to guarantee draft-pick compensation. As spring training games begin, the man with 155 saves in his past three seasons in Boston remains without a team.

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Red Sox join growing list of MLB teams to release minor leaguers amid COVID-19

Red Sox join growing list of MLB teams to release minor leaguers amid COVID-19

Minor League Baseball is getting hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ESPN reported that hundreds of minor leaguers were released Thursday, and that hundreds more cuts are likely to follow in the coming weeks.

It's also possible the 2020 minor league season doesn't happen at all. Regardless, teams are looking for ways to trim costs, and one place that's being impacted is minor league rosters.

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The Boston Red Sox have become the latest Major League Baseball team to announce the release of minor leaguers. Here's the list of players from Friday's announcement:

Pitchers : Matthew Gorst (RHP), Alex Demchak (LHP), Dylan Thompson (RHP), Robbie Baker (RHP), Chris Machamer (RHP), Connor Berry (RHP), Eddie Jimenez (RHP), Kelvin Sanchez (LHP), Zach Schneider (RHP), and Mason Duke (RHP)

Catchers: Joe DeCarlo, Samuel Miranda, and Breiner Licona

Infielders: Nick Lovullo, Juremi Profar, Korby Batesole, Andre Colon, and Nilo Rijo

Outfielders: Edgar Corcino, Keith Curcio, Trenton Kemp, and Marino Campana

Here's a list of other MLB teams making these kinds of cuts. 

One of the many unfortunate aspects of this development is that a lot of the players around the league who are being released might never play professional baseball again. 

Several major league players are going into their own pocket to financially assist minor leaguers, including former Red Sox pitcher David Price, who's giving $1,000 of his own money to each Los Angeles Dodgers minor leaguer in June.

It's still possible the 2020 MLB season will happen in some form. Both the league and MLBPA reportedly have been discussing and negotiating on several different issues, but there's been no public agreement on a return proposal at this time.

MLB rumors: David Price to give $1,000 to Dodgers minor leaguers in June

MLB rumors: David Price to give $1,000 to Dodgers minor leaguers in June

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher David Price is going into his own pocket to help his fellow baseball players.

Sports has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that's definitely true for Minor League Baseball and its players.

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ESPN's Jeff Passan reported that hundreds of minor league players were released Thursday, with many more cuts expected to come. 

Price is trying to help, and according to baseball writer Francys Romero, the Dodgers pitcher will give money in June to players in the Dodgers' minor league system.

This is a very generous gesture from Price.

Price, as Romero notes, has yet to play for the Dodgers. He was traded, along with superstar outfielder Mookie Betts, from the Boston Red Sox to the Dodgers in February. He's probably never met a lot of these Dodgers minor leaguers, but he's still willing to help them through this difficult time.

We still don't know when Price will make his Dodgers debut because it remains unknown if the 2020 season will happen at all. The league and the MLBPA reportedly have been negotiating different return proposals, but no agreement has been announced at this time.