The Boston Red Sox bullpen is now the shiny keys as the movement for additions has been slow to materialize. Maybe it won’t?
Another bullpen article. I offer no apologies since I have to write something and the one area that has surfaced for concern is the Boston Red Sox bullpen.
Kimbrel remains in contractual hiatus as his agents at Sports Meter scour the baseball landscape for their client. Reportedly, the unearthly demand of six-years and $100 MM have been modified to more palatable years and money – just how much is the unknown. My own humble opinion is the any team willing to take the bite of the original requests needs a Dr. Phil intervention.
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- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
The Red Sox are waiting. Does that mean they will eventually sign Kimbrel? Naturally, there are two schools of thought. The first is the price and years will drop and the second is we are looking elsewhere. Since I usually do things backward, point two has a dissipating market – so just what gives? The Red Sox may simply not want Kimbrel. A big “See, Ya!” And if that is the modus operandi than point one is meaningless.
Just what options exist for the Red Sox is rather limited. The roster has some rather successful arms that could move into the vaunted closer role. Matt Barnes throws hard (96.6), walks too many (4.5 BB/9), gets his strikeouts (14.0 K/9), doesn’t give up many dingers (0.7 HR/9), and is far cheaper.
Barnes, a former number one pick (2011), is a rare pitching success in a farm system long noted for producing exquisite position players. For his career, Barnes has two saves and three blown saves. Maybe Ryan Brasier will be the one? Or the desperate arms of Tyler Thornburg or Carson Smith? Let’s leave it at Barnes and Brasier.
The farm system offers little in the way of reinforcements with a prospect closet looking like Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. Names are mentioned, but, face it, they are a few years away if at all. Maybe Durbin Feltman will vault to the majors? Maybe I will win the lottery? Maybe pigs will fly? And maybe Nathan Eovaldi will become a very expensive closer?
Dave Dombrowski is a gambler despite dressing like a CPA. Do I picture him with rolled up sleeves and eye shades bluffing or not bluffing? Getting bullpen help or not getting bullpen help? If it is money DD can save a bundle with what he has now and kiss the boards with his baseball dice – sevens or snake eyes? Last season his tosses were mostly sevens.
Logically one would suspect the Red Sox will pick up a worthy arm somewhere. David Robertson looked like a fine choice and apparently, Boston was not interested. Nor were they interested in Andrew Miller or re-signing the enigmatic Kelly. Even Zach Britton is off their radar.
There is no rush unless you are a Red Sox fan. Admit it – we are an impatient lot especially if we see the New York Yankees doing anything. And as the bullpen board gets thinner the impatience increases, but the Red Sox know the value of a bullpen in today’s game. Something is afoot and I will not rush to judgment.