Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
Veteran closer Craig Kimbrel remains a free agent, but he is gaining significant interest from around the league.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins are the top options for Kimbrel, while a “mystery team” could still be involved.
Heyman noted the Braves could be “lying in the weeds” waiting to sign Kimbrel, although this would go against the front office’s recent plans.
General manager Alex Anthopoulos said last week on MLB Network Radio that Kimbrel doesn’t fit the Braves’ model in what the team is looking for in terms of contract length, via Cory McCartney of Fox Sports South.
According to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, the 30-year-old is seeking a six-year deal worth about $100 million.
Kimbrel is the best reliever on the market with seven All-Star selections already on his resume. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series last season after finishing sixth in Cy Young voting in 2017.
However, the rest of the experienced closers didn’t come close to the type of contract he is seeking.
Still, both the Red Sox and Braves know what Kimbrel can do after several outstanding years pitching for both teams. The Nationals and Twins could also benefit from shoring up their bullpen after missing the playoffs last season.
Kimbrel is a game-changing talent, the question is whether he gets what he is looking for from any interested teams.