The merry-go-round that is the rumor mill concerning the Brewers interest in Craig Kimbrel continues to revolve. This time the rumor is not as exciting. Assistant General Manager Matt Arnold, speaking to Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio, indicated that the Brewers continue their due diligence to improve the team but do not see any additions from the outside coming into the Brewers’ organization.
Matt Arnold Assistant GM of the Brewers in regards to Kimbrel, just told us that they continue to do their do diligence to improve the team but “we do not foresee any additions at this point” from the outside. @MLBNetworkRadio— Jim Duquette (@Jim_Duquette) April 7, 2019
One could read a lot into that statement by Arnold. Some will take the statement as a belief that the Brewers’ front office is blowing smoke prior to making a deal. Others will suggest that any possible union between Milwaukee and Kimbrel is dead. Taken literally, Arnold is telling us that they’ve made the attempt and continue to check in, but both sides aren’t likely to budge from their negotiating positions. Thus, Kimbrel will most likely pitch for someone else in 2019 (but you never know).
Entering the offseason, Kimbrel rejected a qualifying offer from the Boston Red Sox, and was reported to be seeking a contract in the neighborhood of 6-years, $100 million. Many teams may have shied from Kimbrel because of the draft pick compensation that goes with signing him. As mentioned multiple times, that impacts the Brewers less than most teams as they signed Yasmani Grandal and gave up a 3rd rounder to do it as well as their compensation drat pick to sign Alex Claudio (compensation draft pick would not have come into play anyway in this case). If they signed Kimbrel, only a fourth round draft pick would be given up.
With recent poor relief performances of Taylor Williams and Jacob Barnes and uncertainty around Jeremy Jeffress as well as Corey Knebel being gone for the year many Brewers’ fans are in full scale panic mode. That is even with a 7-2 record. Kimbrel would be welcomed by Brewer Nation, but the reality slims by the day. Matt Arnold, David Stearns, and Craig Counsell are much more confident in the pitchers they have than the fan base and the baseball media are. It kind of sounds like 2018 except the conversation is more about the bullpen as opposed to the starting rotation.