Reunion with Kimbrel unlikely as Red Sox say they won't spend on closer

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It's looking less likely that right-handed reliever Craig Kimbrel will return to the Boston Red Sox in 2019.

Speaking with reporters in Las Vegas on Monday, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the team is not looking to make a big financial commitment to a closer, according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.

"We're not going to be overly aggressive on big expenditures with our relief closer at this point. Our payroll is pretty high at this point. Without getting specific onn Kimbrel, we're not looking to make a big expenditure in that area. So read that as you may," Dombrowski said.

Instead, Dombrowski and manager Alex Cora say they're comfortable entering spring training without a specific pitcher in line for the role, Cotillo added.

The team does have interest in adding a reliever with experience in high-leverage situations, but probably not a closer, according to Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston.

If this thinking holds true, Kimbrel will be donning a new uniform. He's been reported to be seeking a six-year contract on the open market, which would be the longest deal ever given to a relief pitcher.

Kimbrel was an American League All-Star in all three of his seasons with the Red Sox. He posted a 2.44 ERA and 0.91 WHIP with 108 saves over that span.

Reunion with Kimbrel unlikely as Red Sox say they won't spend on closer
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