Top 5 Relievers to Replace Craig Kimbrel in Boston

Due to the money that he and his agent are most likely asking for in free agency, it appears that Craig Kimbrel’s days with the Boston Red Sox are numbered. That means that the 2018 World Series Champions are going to go into the season with a new closer. Here are the top guys to replace the flamethrower that has anchored the Sox bullpen for the last three seasons:

David Robertson, New York Yankees- This 34-year-old is a stable vet capable of doing whatever Boston needs. He is as consistent as they come and has experience closing in both New York, and Chicago where he spent time with the White Sox. I would personally love to have Robertson but I doubt the Sox go this route because of the type of pitcher he is. Boston prefers the flamethrowers, which Roberston is not. At this point in his career his fastball sits at around 93 miles per hour rather than the 95+ the Red Sox seem to crave.

Zach Britton, New York Yankees- Another Yankee that has experience playing in the American League East. This lefty had a stellar career with the Baltimore Orioles, posting one of the best seasons a reliever has ever had back in 2016. His stock is a little low at this point due to injuries and a lackluster half-season in New York, but maybe Boston takes a swing hoping Brittton gets back to what he once was.

Jeurys Familia, Oakland Athletics- The former New York Mets closer throws heat. He gets the ball in the upper 90’s and had a great 2018 after the Mets traded him to the Oakland Athletics. His command is shaky at points, but he is still a reliable reliever in the big leagues. Familia has posted an ERA below 3.5 in the past two seasons.

Adam Ottavino, Colorado Rockies- Ottavino is my favorite on this list. The guy has never had a chance to close, and was dominant in the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. With a devastating slider and mid-90’s fastball, Ottavino could become one of the best closers in the game.

Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians- There have been rumors that the Indians are interested in shipping starters Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco out of town, so it appears Cleveland may be surprise sellers this offseason. That would free agent closer Cody Allen would not be returning, which would force him to find a new home for the first time in his career.

Allen had a down year last season but has been steady throughout his career. He has the ability to pitch in the playoffs as we saw during the Tribe’s recent playoff pushes. His experience plus the possibility of him bouncing back makes him an intriguing option for Beantown.

-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)

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