Let’s find homes for Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel

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Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel remain unsigned. They are fine ballplayers. Either one could help any of the 30 teams, though the price those teams are willing to pay for their services has obviously remained a barrier, and the two pitchers remain drifting about in free-agent land.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

One hurdle to their employment that has perhaps been under-reported is that both players turned down a $17.9 million qualifying offer from their previous team. That means the signing team must pay a draft-pick penalty, which varies depending on that team’s financial status. It’s worth noting that all first-round picks are now protected unless a team has multiple first-round picks. In that case, the team loses its later pick. This is an obstacle and part of the reason Kimbrel and Keuchel remain unsigned, but it isn’t an insurmountable one.7

(As an aside: If there’s one thing the MLBPA needs to fight for in the next collective bargaining agreement, it’s getting rid of all free-agent compensation and draft penalties. Once you reach free agency, you should be a free agent. You’ve earned the right to not have any restrictions placed on your services.) nike

Anyway, it’s possible that Kimbrel in particular could wait until after the draft in June to sign. At that point, his free-agent status would no longer be tied to any draft penalties. Since teams are likely interested in him on a shorter-term deal to begin with — even potential Hall of Fame closers are still closers, with all their inherent risks — he could sign a one-year, prorated deal and then head back into free agency. As a second-time free agent, he would no longer be tied to the draft-pick penalties. If he waits, there’s also the chance that some contending team’s closer gets injured or somebody’s bullpen falters, and suddenly interest increases.