By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Red Sox remain in the market for a free-agent reliever, preferably an established closer. That market still includes Craig Kimbrel, who appears to have cost himself some money with the way he performed in the 2018 postseason.
After his agent declared a $100 million benchmark for Kimbrel's services in free agency, the hot stove has cooled off. He's reportedly dropped his asking price to around $86 million for a presumed five-year deal, but that's still probably out of the Red Sox' range. According to veteran reporter John Heyman, the Red Sox prefer a four-year deal in the $60-70 million range if they were to re-sign Kimbrel.
That would align well with a tweet from MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, who says the Red Sox are "waiting to see what happens" with Kimbrel before making any moves in the bullpen. So it appears that the Red Sox have set their price for Kimbrel, but still want to get better value than they'd have to pay in order to keep him.
According to NBC Sports Boston's Evan Drellich, the Red Sox showed interest in Joakim Soria, who signed a two-year deal with the Oakland Athletics believed to be worth a total of $15-15.5 million. The reliever market still includes the likes of Adam Ottavino, Zach Britton, David Robertson, Kelvin Herrera, and Cody Allen, in addition to Kimbrel.
The Red Sox will almost certainly end up with a closer among the aforementioned names. Dave Dombrowski will also likely save himself some money by waiting this out. The question entering the 2019 season will be whether the new guy will be worth the investment.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].