BOSTON (CBS) — As baseball season gets underway, Craig Kimbrel’s offseason continues as the closer remains unsigned. But one team recently expressed some interest in adding the All-Star to their bullpen, so at least there is some interest in the 30-year-old.
The Milwaukee Brewers and Kimbrel were chatting contract, according to a report by The Athletic’s Robert Murray and Ken Rosenthal on Tuesday night. But Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel followed up that report with one of his own, saying the talks were exploratory and no agreement between the two sides is close.
Haudricourt notes that the Brewers are already projected to have a payroll of about $125 million, which would be the highest in franchise history. They’re also pretty set in the bullpen with Josh Hader getting the ninth.
So the man with 333 saves to his name remains a free agent, even as the 2019 season gets underway with the Mariners and Athletics playing in Japan. Kimbrel began the offseason with hopes of landing a six-year, $100-million deal, but those wild demands (along with the baseball’s new approach to free agency) seem to have scared teams away.
Chances are Kimbrel will have to settle for a one-year deal (likely for a pretty penny) at some point. When Kimbrel signs with his new team is important for the Red Sox, since they will receive a compensatory draft pick after he declined their qualifying offer back in November. If Kimbrel signs somewhere after the June draft, his new team would not have to give up a pick.