With the Red Sox set to begin their Spring Training game play in less than ten days, it doesn’t look like there will be any major changes.
As many have expressed throughout the entire offseason lull, the Red Sox have been quiet – very quiet – in regards to dealing with the open market. The defending champions didn’t waste too much time in retaining the services of Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Pearce, while watching Joe Kelly sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Many expected the Red Sox to either retain Craig Kimbrel, or become major players for the services of Andrew Miller, Kelvin Herrera, or other arms that were available. None of this has happened. Rather, the Sox are a couple of weeks away from beginning regular season play and GM Dave Dombrowski has done nothing to dispel the current situation.
Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald spoke with the GM today in regards to the closer role:
“Asked Dombrowski if the Red Sox outlook on not having a “big expenditure at the closer position” would change on a one-year deal and he was steadfast that it wouldn’t. Seems like a certainty that Craig Kimbrel will not be with the Red Sox in 2019. DD said closer likely ‘internal.”
– via Twitter
It doesn’t appear likely that the Sox will have Kimbrel at their disposal in 2019. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Dombrowski highlighted Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Steven Wright, and Tyler Thornburg as options to take over the traditional ninth inning role.
Additionally, the Red Sox GM mentioned that he has “likes some of the young arms” that exist in the organization. If you haven’t followed the Sox pipeline, this likely includes 2018 draft pick, Durbin Feltman, breakout player Travis Lakins, and potentially the new addition of Colten Brewer. Each player has little-to-no Major League experience, but the immense potential of the mentioned arms warrants high expectations.
To be quite honest, the Red Sox management of the bullpen situation has been a bit confusing; however there’s zero reason to question the reigning World Series champions.
It appears the current Red Sox roster is likely what fans will see on Opening Day.