The Red Sox were one of just two clubs to exceed the Competitive Balance Tax threshold, and they may be in line to do so again in 2019 past the upcoming $206 penalty mark. But that doesn't necessarily mean ownership won't stop them from spending, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
So how might that affect a potential reunion with Kimbrel?
Cafardo notes that Kimbrel's market has not generated much traction — the seven-time All-Star is reportedly seeking a five- to six-year deal in the $17 million to 19 million range — but Boston could instead opt to go for another high-leverage reliever such as Zach Britton, David Robertson or Adam Ottavino.
They could even go for a lower-tier reliever should they pursue more costly players at other positions. Cafardo suggests Greg Holland, Bud Norris and Kelvin Herrera, who is recovering from a torn Lisfranc ligament and might not be back by Spring Training. All three would be buy-low candidates and much more affordable, though they wouldn't offer nearly as much upside.