The Boston Red Sox have finally made a sizable splash in free agency.
On Wednesday morning, Jeff Passan reported that the Sox are in agreement on a two-year deal with veteran closer Kenley Jansen.
Red Sox finally make significant free-agent signing by adding veteran closer Kenley Jansen on two-year deal
Jansen owns a lifetime 2.46 ERA across 766 appearances between his 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and this year with the Atlanta Braves. His 573 Games Finished make him MLB’s active career leader, and he averages 35 saves per 162 games. In 2022, he led the National League with 41 saves and 54 games finished.
Meanwhile, the 2022 Sox bullpen was a nightmare within a nightmare. They blew 28 saves in 39 opportunities. Deciding to move Garrett Whitlock, arguably their best reliever/closer to the starting rotation next season, and losing Matt Strahm, who got scooped up by Dombrowski on Tuesday, made them even weaker coming into this offseason.
Unsurprisingly, the Sox have had their eyes on Jansen for some time now. Years ago, he was a Dave Dombrowski target, and the Sox also ‘checked in’ with his agents last offseason before he signed with the Atlanta Braves. BoSox Injection explored the club’s interest in Jansen about a week ago, but with their reputation as ‘Interest Kings’ and several free agents turning down their offers this week, it was far from guaranteed that this would get done.
Presumably, this completes Boston’s bullpen checklist, as Chaim Bloom told reporters this week that they planned to add three new arms. They’ve already agreed to one or two-year contracts with Joely Rodriguez and Chris Martin.
In Jansen, the Sox get a true closer with ample postseason experience. At 35 years old, he’s proven to still be an extremely durable arm, as evidenced by his league-leading numbers with Atlanta.
The Red Sox bullpen suddenly looks significantly better.