As the Boston Red Sox close out the celebration for their 2018 World Series championship, they will soon have to turn their attention to the offseason.
With current Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel set to hit free agency, general manager Dave Dombrowski said that the organization is looking at current relievers Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes to be the potential successors if Kimbrel chooses to leave Boston this winter.
Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier are candidates to become Red Sox closer if Craig Kimbrel is not resigned, Dombrowski said— Christopher Smith (@SmittyOnMLB) November 1, 2018
While the move for Brazier or Barnes to take over for Kimbrel may not look good on paper given with how shaky the Red Sox bullpen was in the regular season, the bullpen turned it on in the postseason.
Brazier and Barnes each only gave one earned run throughout the whole postseason.
The Red Sox bullpen during the playoffs: 2.71 ERA, 63 strikeouts in 63 innings. Opposing teams batted .187 with a .599 OPS against them.— D.J. Short (@djshort) October 29, 2018
Kimbrel is not the only Boston reliever set to hit free agency as Joe Kelly is also a free agent. Kelly also turned it on in the postseason, allowing just one earned run in nine appearances.
It is most likely that Kimbrel will leave Boston since elite closers like him get high-money offers from teams desperate for relievers. If Barnes and Brasier pitch like they did in the postseason going forward, then the Red Sox losing Kimbrel will not be a huge loss.