Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Braves interest in Craig Kimbrel wanes

By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com

A week into the regular season, former Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel's free agent market appears to be as non-existent as ever.

According to Jon Heyman, the Atlanta Braves, one of the few remaining logical landing spots for Kimbrel, talked with the All-Star closer late in the spring, but the two sides are apparently no longer discussing a deal.

The Milwaukee Brewers have also been connected to Kimbrel in recent weeks, but it remains to be seen just how serious those rumors are.

The Red Sox have made it clear publicly that they do not envision a reunion with their former ninth inning man, who began the offseason by reportedly asking teams for a 6-year contract north of $100 million.

Meanwhile, Kimbrel could make his return to Fenway Park next week, but it wouldn't be in an on-the-field baseball capacity.

Chris Cotillo of Mass Live reported the Red Sox have extended an invitation to Kimbrel to attend the 2018 World Series ring ceremony on April 9, the home opener at Fenway Park.

“I actually spoke with [Kimbrel Monday] to formally invite him,” Red Sox President Sam Kennedy told Cotillo. “He is going to let us know if he can make it."

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.