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#pounditSaturday, May 8, 2021

Report: Craig Kimbrel moving ‘closer’ to making free agency decision

Craig Kimbrel

Veteran reliever Craig Kimbrel is apparently making some progress with finding a team to pitch for, but where he will end up remains a mystery.

Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that Kimbrel is getting “closer” to picking a team to sign with, though no clear favorite has emerged. The Milwaukee Brewers are one of the teams that has been linked to Kimbrel, and their level of interest will depend on whether or not they feel Jeremy Jeffress can return to pitching effectively as he works his way back from a shoulder injury.

Jeffress has made four minor league rehab starts, and he has allowed at least one run in each of them. The 31-year-old had 15 saves and 18 holds with a 2.89 ERA for Milwaukee last year in 73 appearances. As Morosi notes, Brewers general manager David Stearns will likely give stronger consideration to signing Kimbrel if Jeffress continues to struggle.

Kimbrel was reportedly seeking an insane amount of money as of last month, and his asking price has almost certainly come way down. While he’s one of the best closers in MLB history and has 333 career saves and a 1.91 career ERA, he struggled a bit in the postseason with the Boston Red Sox last year. There’s no denying that Kimbrel can solidify the back end of a bullpen, but teams simply don’t want to shell out huge money for a reliever right now.

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