A depleted farm system, a costly contract among the horizon, what do the Red Sox do about Craig Kimbrel?
With this being the last year before free agency, Where do the crossroads line up for Craig Kimbrel? The all star closer is in line for a huge payday potentially earning over $100 million contract. This could go down one of three ways: 1. Sign him in hopes of a team discount/ pay what he wants. 2. Trade him at the deadline to get something out of him. 3. he walks on his own. Either way, The Red Sox need to act fast.
Let’s say the team offers him a friendly 4 year/ $80 million contract as a team friendly deal. He could either gladly accept, or demand more money than fellow closer Alroldis Chapman who got his 5 year $82 million contract almost two years ago. He is a fastball dominant pitcher, meaning without that there’s not a lot of wiggle room to be above par. Sure, his knuckle curve is a great set up pitch, but you’re not throwing that three to four times an at bat.
Our second option is a pill swallower: trade one of the best closers in the league. This one would hurt, but it could address one of our biggest holes. THE FARM SYSTEM!!!!!! With only two prospect in the top 100 ( Chavis- ped suspension) ( Groome- Tommy John surgery) the farm system is depleted. Along with first round pick Tristan Casas, there’s not much going on at the moment. This could be the trade to get a package that consists of a bullpen arm and a prospect or two. You can’t go wrong with that if there’s little to no help on an extension.
This idea also keeps money on the table for future extensions ( Betts, Sale, Benintendi< Bogaerts) While keeping the team in the witch hunt for Bryce Harper. With various other teams sure to be in on him.
The worse case scenario: He walks on his own terms with nothing gained for the Red Sox.
In this scenario, the team not only loses out on a closer, but misses out on a chance to gain something for his services. The club needs to look into every avenue before trying their luck in free agency. Anything can happen, it is a business. With that being said, they have to keep everything an open possibility. Even if it becomes a negative move from the fans perspective.