Agent Dave Meter has a fairly straightforward pitch on client Craig Kimbrel. Points out Meter: He’s the best alltime, not just recently but alltime. Lowest ERA, lowest batting average against, lowest OPS against. Also points out he saved all his chances even this postseason.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 6, 2018
This is hyperbole that would make Scott Boras blush and that’s a guy who just said JD Martinez was so good (the best free agent ever in fact) that teams should apologize for underpaying him!
But for Craig Kimbrel’s agent to say he is the *best* closer of ALL-TIME?
Only 319 more saves to go to tie Mariano Rivera, Craig.
Lets take a look at this outrageous statement. Yes, Kimbrel is 14th all-time in MLB history with 333 saves. In fact he and Fernando Rodney, who is 11 years older than Kimbrel, are the only active players in the Top 20 in career saves. But that 333 BARELY puts him halfway to the 652 saves that Rivera racked up in 19 seasons. So if Mo Rivera pitched until his age 43 season and Kimbrel just finished his 9th season at age 30, that means he’d have to average 25 saves a season for the next 13 seasons. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but what position is more fickle and fades faster than hard throwing relievers?
Hell, Jonathan Papelbon is the best closer in Red Sox history, one of the most dominant relievers I’ve ever seen, and he only lasted 12 seasons (7 with Boston). Papelbon is 9th on the all-time list with 368 career saves, but he fell off the map and was done at 35.
So yes, statistically Kimbrel is definitely up there with the best closers of all-time, but have you ever really felt secure when he comes into a game? Yankees fans went two goddamn decades of playing 8 inning games because when Mo Rivera came into the game in the 9th it was over. Meanwhile every single Craig Kimbrel save is a high wire act and god forbid someone is on base or it requires more than 3 outs.
Love ya, Craig. Mean it, wish ya the best. But you are not the greatest closer of all time and the Boston Red Sox will not be paying you anywhere near what you are looking for.