Report: Kimbrel pursuing deal worth more than $100M
Kimbrel, 30, is one of the greatest closers in history. His 333 saves rank 14th on the all-time leaderboard and first among active pitchers. Over nine seasons, the right-hander owns a 1.91 ERA and 1.96 FIP through 532 2/3 innings of work.
The reported asking price would be a record-breaking deal for a reliever, blowing past the previous five-year, $86-million contract signed by Aroldis Chapman and the New York Yankees. It could also be worth more on an average annual basis than Wade Davis' three-year, $52-million deal, which is the highest annual sum that a closer has ever received.
Following a 2018 campaign with the Boston Red Sox that ended with his first World Series title, Kimbrel rejected the club's $17.9-million qualifying offer. As such, the free agent is now attached to draft-pick compensation.
During the winter meetings, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski expressed an unwillingness to spend big on a closer, making a reunion with Kimbrel unlikely. The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly interested.