Will Craig Kimbrel live up to a long-term contract? Let’s analyze his closest comparisons to gain some insight on if he’s worthwhile for the Red Sox.
Historically, signing relievers to large contracts has proven to be a fool’s errand. Just look at this list of the highest paid relievers last season. Of the top ten – including the eight pitchers tied for tenth place – perhaps five of these pitchers earned their salary in 2018.
The Red Sox, however, are in a position where they need to pay a reliever a lot of money. Their closer Craig Kimbrel is on the open market and is reportedly demanding a contract in the ballpark of Aroldis Chapman’s five-year $85 million dollar pact. Without a doubt, the biggest question Dave Dombrowski faces this offseason is whether or not to re-sign Kimbrel. To that end, I thought it would be worthwhile to try to get a better picture of what Kimbrel’s performance might look like over the next few seasons.