6 trade destinations for Kenley Jansen as Red Sox look to shed payroll

The Red Sox could shake up their bullpen while cutting costs.
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Miami Marlins

The Marlins have been linked as a potential trade partner for the Red Sox, who remain interested in acquiring a young starting pitcher like Jesus Luzardo or Edward Cabrera. While it’s unlikely the Red Sox could land the 25-year-old without surrendering prospects, perhaps including Jansen in a deal would allow the club to inflict less of a farm system implosion.

Jansen represents a fit for the Marlins, who are currently projected to enter 2024 with Tanner Scott in the closer’s role. The southpaw should really be Miami’s setup option, especially after leading the team in holds last year.

If the Red Sox don’t want to part with Jansen plus prospects for Luzardo or Cabrera, perhaps they could look into minor leaguers Jacob Miller, Joe Mack or Josh Simpson.

Texas Rangers

The rich get richer? The Rangers, fresh off a World Series victory, don’t have too many holes on their roster. However, one area where they could improve is the back of the bullpen, specifically the closer role.

As Texas looks to defend its title, it can’t afford to enter 2024 with Jose Leclerc and Josh Sborz splitting save situations. Bringing Jansen onto the roster would allow the AL West contender to remain aggressive and achieve a sense of well-roundedness. If they're considering Josh Hader, then why not Jansen?

The Rangers depleted their farm system a bit after their trades for Aroldis Chapman, Jordan Montgomery and Max Scherzer, which brought them a World Series title, but the main focus here is getting Jansen's money off the books. Should the Rangers' TV deal reach the finish line, $16 million will be a drop in the bucket for them to upgrade at closer, and the Red Sox should be happy with whatever return they can get. Also, the Rangers just hired a former Sox pitching coach, so why not?

Philadelphia Phillies

Losing Craig Kimbrel in free agency could prompt the Phillies to make a splash in the back of their bullpen. While Jose Alvarado and Gregory Soto are fine late-inning options, Philadelphia would love to use them in a setup role while giving someone like Jansen the ninth.

The Phillies have been notoriously aggressive over the past few years and could afford to splurge for someone like Jansen, especially considering they’ve only made one major move this offseason (re-signing Aaron Nola).

Mick Abel and Justin Crawford are two dream targets for the Red Sox, but it’s hard to imagine the Phillies parting with either top prospect for an aging veteran closer (albeit a dominant one). Again, offloading this salary is the main goal. A top-20 prospect in the Phillies' system would be a bonus.