Red Sox Spring Training: Sale upset that Kimbrel remains unsigned
The Red Sox have made their way to Fort Myers for Spring Training and the season is right around the corner. Someone who isn’t in camp is Craig Kimbrel and that doesn’t sit well with Chris Sale.
Free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel is still sitting on the sidelines as teams begin to report for Spring Training. Coming off of a strong season and a World Series win with the Red Sox, you’d think Kimbrel would have no problem finding a home. But a mix of a high wage demand and slow free agent market has kept the fireballer from getting on the mound.
One person that has noticed that Kimbrel is still waiting to sign a deal is Red Sox ace Chris Sale. Sale and Kimbrel have spent the last few years together in Boston and have seen success together. Sale like many out in the baseball world can’t figure out why not just Kimbrel but the other big name free agents are still unsigned.
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"“It’s crazy to me,” Sale said. “I don’t want to get too far into it with the politics of baseball and all this stuff, but he’s as good as it gets. He 100 percent makes any team better that he plays for. It’s crazy to think that there really hasn’t been a whole lot of traction with him."
John Tomase of WEEI was able to gather Sale’s thoughts during a media sitdown in Fort Myers. Sale also explains that the method of tanking could be behind why many of these high ticket free agents don’t have homes. With teams going the route of throwing away a season to save money on draft players versus big name free agents, the market is tighter than ever.
This isn’t the first time tanking has been in the news lately. In the latest proposed rule changes, one of the ideas was to punish teams that blatantly tank as opposed to rewarding them. Tanking is a business model that is used in all major sports and it isn’t always full-proof. With draft talent busting and fans just flat out getting pissed that their team has given up, it’s a risky move.
"I think with half the league just showing up for checks, it doesn’t help . . . not trying to win, those kind of things. Obviously your market kind of goes down a little bit."
The Red Sox as we all know have the opposite of a tanking mentality. The organization is in on winning and winning often. Four World Series titles after nearly a century of losing has been the result of that thought process. Sale made sure to talk up his former teammate, not that Kimbrel needs it, his resume does enough talking on its own.
Sale has a great point though, tanking has become a bit of disease in major sports. For far too long teams have been rewarded for purposely losing. Luckily the potential rule changes will put an end to that at least in the MLB. Teams will have the added motivation to do well not just to win but then they will get extra incentives.
With Kimbrel, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado still on the outside looking in as camps begin, there are more questions than answers. With reports of teams having more than enough money to afford these guys, why aren’t they getting signed? Is it stubbornness from either the player or club? Maybe. But if Chris Sale had his way, Craig Kimbrel would have a deal signed and he’d be in Fort Myers ASAP.