The pool of free-agent relief options is becoming shallower by the day, and the Red Sox have a clear need at the back of their bullpen as they prepare to start their title defense. So in theory, re-signing Craig Kimbrel makes perfect sense.
But on Thursday, for at least the third time this offseason, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski indicated that he doesn't expect to invest big money in the closer spot.
It's understandable, as Boston needs to be cognizant of the luxury-tax threshold — the club would face steeper penalties for exceeding it by more than $40 million for the second straight season — as well as the fact that many key players are set to hit free agency soon.
That said, MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal suggests a one-year deal for Kimbrel could work if the Red Sox aren't concerned about the luxury-tax penalties. A one-year contract would allow Boston to return with mostly the same roster as the one that won the World Series in 2018, but wouldn't hinder the club's ability to operate as Chris Sale, Xander Bogaerts, Rick Porcello, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. enter free agency over the next two offseasons.