The Craig Kimbrel-to-Boston connection has ended after Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner stated that it was "extremely unlikely" that the 30-year old relief pitcher will be re-signed. Kimbrel has been tied to several teams during his time of free agency, so he won't have to worry, and here are four teams most likely to land him.
4. Washington Nationals
Kimbrel and the Nationals have been linked in the past before, but this time is certainly more serious. The Nationals could definitely improve their bullpen but are likely hesitant about signing a six-year deal with a reliever coming off shaky postseason. If Kimbrel doesn't receive the lengthy deal he's looking for, it's possible that the Nationals will try and pounce for the right price considering they're still trying to contend without Bryce Harper.
3. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies have been trying all offseason to bolster their roster and primarily have their eyes set on stars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. If they are unable to get one of those two, they are expected to take a hard look at Kimbrel. The team is currently in need of a veteran closer and Kimbrel's dominance will provide consistency to the back end of a shaky bullpen. If the Phillies want to spend stupid money, here's their chance.
2. Minnesota Twins
The Twins have made serious strides by adding five new players during the offseason to put together a solid team to contend for the AL Central. But they could still improve because they'll be competing with the powerhouse Cleveland Indians. By signing Kimbrel, the Twins can shore up their relief pitching and help the right-hander benefit pitching against a relatively weak division.
1. Atlanta Braves
The Braves are the most likely out of the bunch to get Kimbrel. They've been linked since he began to look for new deal, which is no surprising since he started his career after being drafted by Atlanta. With the NL East getting more and more competitive and the Braves' only glaring hole being the bullpen, signing Kimbrel would be the icing on the cake of a successful offseason for Alex Anthopoulos and Co.