Conflicting Kenley Jansen rumors could have other Red Sox relievers on trade block

Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox
Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox / Paul Rutherford/GettyImages

There have been rumors swirling around the state of the Boston Red Sox's pitching staff. Most of them are contingent on the team trading Kenley Jansen.

Many reporters have theorized that Boston would try to trade the All-Star closer to save money to spend on more expensive starting talent, like Jordan Montgomery. The Red Sox's new pitching coach, former closer Andrew Bailey, even admitted that closers are unnecessary on a staff like Boston's, so it seemed more likely that the Sox were going to dish Jansen with every passing day.

Now, though, with spring training here and much of the team already reporting to Fort Myers to start working, the buzz surrounding a potential trade has changed. There have been conflicting reports about the Red Sox's desires in the trade market.

MassLive's Sean McAdam and Christopher Smith report that Boston is still hunting for a suitor for Jansen, but the front office is unwilling to pay off any of his $16 million 2024 salary. If the Red Sox are truly trying to trade Jansen to spend his salary elsewhere, the report makes sense — the Sox have been trying to cut payroll all winter and they already had to eat a chunk of Chris Sale's contract in his trade to the Braves.

Red Sox taking calls for Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin and John Schreiber

There have been many rumors suggesting Boston's signing of an ace hinges on whether or not the front office can move Jansen. His salary would go a long way toward signing a competent starter. Paying any of his salary to any team that acquires him would defeat the point of a Jansen trade entirely, so Boston may as well wait until the trade deadline to ship him elsewhere if they can't get his full price now.

McAdam and Smith reported that Boston is now taking calls for multiple bullpen pieces. Jansen, Chris Martin and John Schreiber have all been placed on the trade block as the Red Sox desperately try to scrape together money that they already have.

Martin's value is at its peak as he posted a career-best 1.05 ERA in 55 appearances last season. His performances went under the radar of many fans, and after an underrated 2023 the Sox could likely fetch a nice return for Martin, who's making $9.5 million in 2024.

The Sox could also get a decent return for Schreiber, but it likely won't make the current roster any better. The reliever is under contract until 2027 but is historically inconsistent, so the possible return there is largely unknown.

The Red Sox don't need to trade anyone for any reason besides freeing up space on the 40-man roster. Boston has plenty of money but refuses to spend, as has been made clear to fans all offseason.

Trading Jansen is probably the best option for the Sox. He's owed the most money and his salary would go the farthest toward signing someone for the starting rotation. He's also an unnecessary piece of the Sox aren't contending. If they can't find a suitor for Jansen without eating any of his salary, the Sox should bite the bullet and sign Montgomery anyway. It's not like it'll do any harm.

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