Report: Craig Kimbrel could sit out 2019 if asking price isn't met

By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com

Spring training is underway across baseball and Craig Kimbrel still needs a job, and some sources are now suggesting the closer will stick to his asking price and does not plan to sign anywhere until it's met.

According to MLB insider Jim Bowden, Kimbrel could sit out 2019 instead of signing a contract that is below his perceived value.

Kimbrel's camp has not been shy in asking for the earth, the moon, and the stars from teams that have expressed interest in the seven-time All-Star closer. Kimbrel reportedly asked for a record-breaking 6-year, $100 million contract at the Winter Meetings. In November, Kimbrel's agent, Dave Meter, claimed his client was the greatest closer in the history of baseball. 

But the so-called greatest closer of all-time has no job on February 23 and it's hard to see where the suitors could come from at this point.

The Red Sox have repeatedly stated that it's highly unlikely they will re-sign Kimbrel at this point, citing payroll concerns and the impending free agency of many key players over the next two years.

The Atlanta Braves say they won't spend the money to bring Kimbrel back into the fold.

Other teams that needed bullpen help have already addressed those needs. The Cardinals signed Andrew Miller, the Yankees re-signed Zach Britton and brought in Adam Ottavino, the Angels added Cody Allen, and the Phillies signed David Robertson.

We'll find out soon enough if Kimbrel is serious about sitting 2019 out. The chances of Kimbrel not pitching at all seem greater than the chances of Kimbrel pitching for his asking price at this point.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub's own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.