Red Sox Predictions: Who will be the closer in 2019 if Craig Kimbrel leaves?

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 06: Craig Kimbrel
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 06: Craig Kimbrel /
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The Boston Red Sox now have Craig Kimbrel as the closer. Kimbrel will be a free agent after the 2018 season and the team may need a viable replacement. Who on the roster can step in?

HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 06: Craig Kimbrel (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 06: Craig Kimbrel (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Craig Kimbrel is entering his walk season with the Boston Red Sox and will be looking at Bentley’s and Gulf Stream’s during the season as he aims for a doable target – exceeding the five-year and $86 Million contract that Aroldis Chapman signed to set the new financial standard for closers. What does 2019 hold in store for Kimbrel?

The first leap of statistical faith is Kimbrel will have a 2018 comparable to his 2017 season, so the statistical information may not be a guarantee, but is most certainly attainable based on his previous history. Kimbrel’s career statistics have a slight edge over Chapman’s, but a potential downside is Chapman was 28 years-old when he signed his contract and Kimbrel will be 30 years-old upon joining the one percent club.

So, what happens? The Red Sox have placed themselves into a position where they do have several options for replacement of Kimbrel while saving significant dollars – money that can be applied elsewhere such as contracts to the young core of players reaching deep into arbitration or free agency.

Who takes over? That is where internal replacement takes precedent and Boston management has either deliberately or through quirky circumstances placed themselves in Red Barber’s Cat Bird seat.