Skip to main content

Maybe Craig Kimbrel isn't interested in playing for the Twins

Kimbrel remains unsigned nearly a month into the season.

The Twins have the look of a team capable of winning the AL Central and maybe even doing some damage in the playoffs, but their chances would be better if they added an ace reliever like Craig Kimbrel. 

Kimbrel's name has been on the map for every fan base whose team has had early season pitching struggles, but nearly a month into the season the seven-time All-Star right-hander remains unsigned. 

It's got everyone in Twins Territory asking: Why aren't the Twins trying to sign Kimbrel?

The Twins will never say one way or another if they're interested, but what if they have reached out to Kimbrel and he's just not interested in playing here? It's a logical possibility that former Twins All-Star closer Glen Perkins brought up Thursday on his SKOR North radio show. 

"Does he want to come play here?" queried Perkins on his new Twin Cities-based radio show. "Not knowing what he wants to do, it's so hard to speculate because it seems obvious, you're like, ''why wouldn't you sign one-year and $20 million and come pitch for the Twins?' There's that whole side of it, and that's the unknown." 

According to reports, Kimbrel was asking for a five- or six-year contract worth $100+ million, but has since lowered demands to somewhere around half of that. 

Are the Twins willing to offer Kimbrel three years and $50 million? It seems like a reasonable price tag considering Kimbrel made $13 million for the world champion Red Sox last season, only to turn down Boston's $17 million qualifying offer with hopes of landing a longer-term deal. 

Perkins recalled the 2008 season when the Twins signed Kendrys Morales on June 8, noting how uplifting it was for the team. 

"It was like, "holy cow we signed Kendrys Morales,'" said Perkins. "That lift of like, 'man, we got another guy now.' I remember how good that made us feel, and just how uplifting it was." 

Perkins was in no way comparing the two because Morales wound up playing in just 39 games and the Twins missed the playoffs. But adding solid bat with some power compared to a perennial All-Star with a career strikeout rate of 14.7 batters per nine innings could legitimately make Minnesota a very dangerous team. 

The biggest question about Kimbrel, who turns 31 next month, is if his struggles in the second half and playoffs last season were fluky or the start of a regression.

He had a 1.77 ERA at the All-Star break in 2018 and then slumped to a post-All-Star break ERA of 4.57. In the playoffs, he was dinged for runs in five of nine appearances and had a 5.91 ERA. 

Minnesota's bullpen hasn't been terrible  and they might even be good enough to win the division as is, but adding Kimbrel could give the Twins some real juice once he's conditioned and ready to pitch, likely within a couple of weeks after signing.

Fans are drooling over Kimbrel, but maybe he swiped left on the Twins and that was the ballgame. 

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Ant ejected, Wolves blow huge lead and lose to slumping Hawks

The Timberwolves missed another opportunity to get over .500.

Xcel Energy Center

NHL announces make-up dates for Wild postponements

The Wild will play 40 games in the final 77 days of the regular season.

the mayo clinic - edit

Group says Mayo should be 'severely punished' over research puppy's death

The puppy died two days after undergoing a procedure at a Mayo research facility.

FLickr - minneapolis police - Tony Webster - Feb 2020 - crop

Charges: Man kidnapped woman, sexually assaulted her at gunpoint

The suspect faces three separate felony charges.

mn state capitol january 17 2021

St. Cloud 'Boogaloo Boi' who discussed attack on MN Capitol gets 2 years

He was charged with illegally possessing a machine gun.

Chris Smith

Gophers add All-Ivy League D-tackle from Harvard

Chris Smith will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer.

school bus

High school basketball team returns from game to find bus driver dead

Members of the girls team returned to the bus to find the driver unresponsive.

covid-19 testing site sign

Minnesota AG sues COVID testing site, alleging it sent false results

Sometimes the company didn't send people their results at all, the lawsuit alleges.

optum headquarters chad davis wikimedia commons

UnitedHealth Group says it made $287B last year, $24B of it profit

The corporation's Optum business represented a significant chunk of that total.


Omicron may have already peaked in Minnesota

Reported cases lag what's happening in real time, so the newly reported cases over the next week or so will still be very high.

MnDot snow plow cam I-35 12-10-21

MnDOT reveals 50 snowplow name finalists

Voting is open through Wednesday, Jan. 26.


Craig Kimbrel

Report: Craig Kimbrel is a priority for the Twins

Joel Sherman of the New York Post talked to an executive about Kimbrel.

Craig Kimbrel

Report: Craig Kimbrel to the Cubs, not the Twins

The Twins have the 10th-ranked bullpen ERA in the American League.

Why the Twins need to make a move for Craig Kimbrel

With injuries in the bullpen, Kimbrel to the Twins makes a ton of sense.

We could learn Monday if Twins will swoop for Kimbrel, Keuchel

A bidding war could be taking place for their services.

Report: Twins a possible landing spot for Kimbrel

The All-Star closer is still looking for work.

Escobar playing at an All-Star level, easily the Twins' best player

Escobar is fifth in the majors with 20 extra-base hits.

MLB will not suspend Twins third baseman Miguel Sano

The decision comes nearly three months after he was accused.

Playing .500 over final 32 games should put the Twins in the playoffs, the computers say

Can the Twins go 16-16 or better over the final 32 games of the season?