Boston is waiting to see what happens with the free-agent closer before making any moves in the relief market, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
Based on comments from president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski at the winter meetings it looked like the Red Sox were prepared to move on from the seven-time All-Star.
"We're not going to be overly aggressive with big expenditures for our relief closer at this point," Dombrowski said, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. "Our payroll is pretty high at this point. Without getting specific on him (Kimbrel), we're not making a big expenditure in that area. Read that as you may."
Because of their high payroll, the Red Sox could be waiting for Kimbrel's asking price to come down from the six years and over $100 million he's reportedly seeking.
Boston's front office already spent more than $74 million to bring back Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Pearce. The organization recently finished above baseball's highest luxury tax threshold for 2018 at $237 million, sources told Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston in July. This doesn't mean the Red Sox won't spend, but it's likely they'll have to approach potential future deals more cost-effectively.
"Our ownership is totally committed to winning and trying to bring a championship to the organization and our fans," Dombrowski told Drellich in an email. "You never like to incur a penalty, but, they/we, do not want that to be a deterrent to making moves that we think can help us win this year."
While Kimbrel remains a free agent the offseason relief market has been heating up. Joakim Soria reportedly agreed to a contract with the Oakland Athletics on Thursday and Andrew Miller appears close to a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.