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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San Diego Padres

The Padres face key questions about how they should handle their own money problems, so a trade for Jansen could only happen if San Diego decides that it thinks it can contend and wants to remain aggressive heading into 2024.

FanGraphs’ current projected Padres bullpen combined for just one save last year, so adding Jansen – who had 29 – would be huge. Such a move would allow the Padres to save face in the NL West in an offseason that has seen the Dodgers dominate left and right.

Adam Mazur, who has a nasty slider and boasted an impressive 2.81 ERA in the minors last season, feels like a reasonable target for Boston. Meanwhile, a deal that sees the Red Sox bring back Xander Bogaerts and his hefty salary would be fascinating (but unlikely due to Boston’s new fear of spending money). Perhaps this could be a larger deal that incorporates Ha-Seong Kim? That would require the Sox to part with prospects, but it could be the move.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Last, but not least: the Dodgers. Nobody would be surprised to see Jansen return to his old stomping grounds in Los Angeles. Through 12 seasons with the Dodgers from 2010 to 2021, Jansen amassed a 2.37 ERA, 13.05 K/9, and 350 saves.

The fit here is natural. Much like Boston has been looking to shed payroll, Los Angeles seems to be operating without any financial restrictions whatsoever. After bolstering their rotation, outfield, and lineup, it would make sense for their next task to be adding a top-tier closer to fill a noticeable void in the bullpen.

If Boston did send Jansen to Los Angeles, an ideal return package could include Thayron Liranzo, Yeiner Fernandez, or Maddux Bruns.