Craig Kimbrel on Monday officially declined a one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer from the Red Sox.
The value of the qualifying offer is based on the mean salary of the game’s 125 highest-paid players from the previous season. A player can receive an offer once in his career.
The closer remains eligible to return to the Sox. But if he does not, the team would receive a compensatory pick after the fourth round of the amateur draft in June. Free agency should be a bonanza, however, for the 30-year-old, who has a 1.91 earned run average over nine seasons and 14.7 strikeouts per nine innings — the most for any pitcher in history with at least 500 career innings.