MLB Rumors: Committing Long-Term to the Boston Red Sox Makes Sense for Craig Kimbrel

MLB Rumors: Committing Long-Term to the Boston Red Sox Makes Sense for Craig KimbrelKimbrel will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season

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Sign up By , Christian Post Contributor | May 13, 2018 6:01 AM Wikimedia Commons/Keith AllisonCraig Kimbrel pitching during an April 2017 game against the Baltimore Orioles

Right-handed pitcher Craig Kimbrel is one of baseball‘s top relievers, and he has been for quite a while now.

Ever since making his debut for the Atlanta Braves in 2010, Kimbrel has made a habit of racking up saves and making hitters look foolish with his devastating array of fastballs and breaking balls.

Currently, Kimbrel is the anchor of the Boston Red Sox‘s bullpen, but there‘s a chance that he will not remain in that role for that much longer.

Kimbrel will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, and while there‘s still a chance that the Red Sox could sign him to an extension before the winter, it‘s looking like the soon-to-be 30-year-old hurler will have a chance to enter the open market.

Interestingly enough, however,  that the Red Sox still have the best chance to sign Kimbrel to a new deal this winter.

For the Red Sox, re-signing Kimbrel makes sense because he is on the shortlist of elite relievers in the Majors today.

With both the Red Sox and their AL East rivals, the New York Yankees, expected to be among the top teams in the Major Leagues over the next few years, the Boston-based franchise cannot afford to cede any kind of ground, and that‘s exactly what would happen if they lose Kimbrel.

A renewal of the Red Sox-Kimbrel partnership is good not just for the team, but for the pitcher himself.

Kimbrel recently eclipsed the 300-save mark, and if he wants any shot at surpassing Mariano Rivera‘s record of 652 regular season saves, he will need to play on a team that consistently wins plenty of games on a yearly basis.

The Red Sox are pretty well set up to pile up the wins over the coming seasons, so if Kimbrel re-signs with them, he‘s likely going to get his fair share of save opportunities.

Kimbrel also appears to be the type of pitcher who can handle the glare of the Boston spotlight pretty well.

Through two-plus seasons with the Red Sox, Kimbrel has already piled up nearly 80 saves, while striking out more than 230 hitters in just a shade under 140 innings pitched, . The strikeouts are not the only indicators of Kimbrel‘s dominance, as his WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) remains under one.

Not all players are capable of performing in the Boston market, but clearly, Kimbrel possesses that quality.

During his brief time in Boston, Kimbrel has also managed to form strong bonds with his teammates and the fans, and that‘s important, too. In Boston, Kimbrel isn‘t just pitching for himself, he‘s also pitching for his good friends, and that probably helps him perform better on the mound.

The MLB free agency period is always difficult to predict, and there are no guarantees until contracts are signed.

That said, it seems safe to say that the Red Sox and Kimbrel pair well together, making it fair to expect that the two sides will renew their partnership this winter.

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