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Who will sign Craig Kimbrel and his World Series-winning beard?

With so many impact players available, this year's free-agent season has the potential to be the most hectic we've ever seen. To keep everything organized, we're bringing back the Free Agent Matrix to parse out where this year's top talents might end up signing.
In an age where reliever usage continues to be revolutionized and the concept of a Proven Closer is becoming murkier by the month, Craig Kimbrel has continued his run as one of the most dominant purveyors of the ninth inning of all time.
Kimbrel's career ERA (1.91) is the lowest among all relievers in Major League history, a good margin better than Kenley Jansen (2.20) and the gold standard for closers, Mariano Rivera (2.21). His 14.67 K/9 is also tops among all pitchers in MLB history with at least 500 career innings. Kimbrel has been utterly spectacular over the course of his nine-year career. 
Now, fresh off a World Series title and his eighth consecutive season of 30+ saves, Kimbrel enters free agency as the premier game-ender on the market. Two Hot Stoves ago, we saw three of Kimbrel's closer counterparts hit the free agent market and each sign significant contracts: Mark Melancon (four years, $62 million), Jansen (five years, $80 million) and Aroldis Chapman (five years, $86 million). Last year, Wade Davis signed for three years, $52 million with the Rockies. 
How will Kimbrel's deal stack up? Here's what the market looks like for the electric right-hander:
The Dark Horses
With new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen at the helm, it remains a bit cloudy which direction the team is heading in 2019. But if Van Wagenen is eager to improve his squad in one big splash, adding Kimbrel would make a lot of sense. After the Mets traded Jeurys Familia at the Deadline, no one pitcher clearly stepped into the closer's shoes, and no one on the current roster stands out as an obvious fit going into 2019. Mets relievers posted an ERA of 4.96 this past season, which ranked 28th in MLB. Kimbrel alone could boost the Mets 'pen all the way up to average, if not better. How his red beard may clash with the blue and orange uniforms ... well, that's a different story. 

As exceptionally fun as it would be to just toss the closer keys to 22-year-old flamethrower Jordan Hicks and tell him to drive safe, the Cardinals may feel a bit more comfortable asking a more proven ninth-inning presence like Kimbrel to do the job. It's now been three unfathomable seasons without postseason baseball for St. Louis, so the Cardinals may be itching to get back in the October mix with a signing like Kimbrel.
Ever since the days of Troy Percival and K-Rod, the Angels have struggled to find a shutdown closer of Kimbrel's caliber and consistency. Just as Jansen has his signature L.A. closer entrance music with 2Pac's "California Love" at Dodger Stadium, Kimbrel could establish a similarly electric entrance down the freeway in Anaheim. He may also share many baseball fans' passion for wanting to see Mike Trout play in October, and he could contribute significantly to that cause. 
It was a whole lot of Seranthony Domínguez down the stretch for Philadelphia, which was fun to watch for those who enjoy incredible names of rookie baseball players, but not as fun for those fans who want to feel a little more at ease in the ninth inning. Dominguez is promising, but showed enough shakiness late in the season to make Phillies fans wonder if they might need to look to someone else to record the final three outs. And say the Phillies sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado for a boatload of money -- what's another wheelbarrow of cash to add a pitcher like Kimbrel? No big deal!
The Favorites
Atlanta shocked a lot of people by vaulting all the way to the top of the NL East in 2018, and with a loaded farm system and a stellar big league roster, the Braves appear ready to stay there for the foreseeable future. Of course, the legend of Kimbrel began with the Braves, the team that developed him from third-round pick to Cooperstown-bound reliever in a blink of the eye. He led the National League in saves in each of his four full seasons in Atlanta. It feels like Kimbrel has been gone way longer than he actually has been (four years), but a return to the ATL to help the team that raised him return to October glory would be supremely cool to watch. 

Red Sox
Sure, there was a little bit of drama in October where Kimbrel made Sox fans sweat it out more than they'd like, but he got his stuff back by the end of the month for the eventual World Series champions. Were his struggles in the postseason a sign that maybe you can have too much of a good thing and it may be time for Boston to move on? Or was that just a blip and the two sides should forget their recent bumps in the road and commit to each other for the long haul? Every relationship reaches that critical fork in the road. 

The Cubs spent a chunk of change last offseason to add Brandon Morrow to their bullpen, and he spent most of the 2018 season on the DL. The fans are already getting antsy that their two-year World Series drought is a slippery slope to another 108 years of misery. While the rotation is solid, it remains unclear who will be getting the ball in the ninth inning if Morrow doesn't return to full strength. Kimbrel solves that problem in a hurry. The only issue here: we don't know if Kimbrel has the dance moves to fit in

Jake: Braves
Jordan: Angels