MLB insider pitches Dodgers-Kenley Jansen trade that dials conversations up a notch

Boston Red Sox v Cincinnati Reds
Boston Red Sox v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox's hot June play has placed them close to the top of the American League wild card race.

Their recent stretch has forced experts to reevaluate their expected trade deadline plans for the ballclub. Based on Boston's early, perpetually-.500 record, many reporters and insiders expected it to be a seller before the July 30 deadline.

Now, no one is sure — the Red Sox front office hasn't enthusiastically stated that it plans to become a buyer, but the squad's recent success should prevent it from a fire sale. But management has made its desire to trade veteran closer Kenley Jansen perfectly clear.

Chief baseball officer Craig Breslow has also declared one of his biggest priorities before the deadline is to find Boston a new starting pitcher. Lucas Giolito's season-ending injury has left the Red Sox's starting rotation strapped all season, and Garrett Whitlock's second Tommy John surgery could affect it well into next.

MLB insider Ken Rosenthal proposed a solution that could kill two birds with one — ship Jansen to a contending team for a starting pitcher, one-for-one. He suggested the Los Angeles Dodgers' Walker Buehler, an impending free agent, as an example, although not a great one.

Buehler has made eight starts this year, as he started the season on the injured list while he rehabbed from Tommy John surgery. He's back on the IL again with hip inflammation with no date set for his return, so he may not be the best rental candidate for a team trying to force its way into the postseason.

Ken Rosenthal proposes Red Sox pursue a one-for-one swap for Kenley Jansen

There are a number of other soon-to-be free agents on contending teams who could fit in Buehler's place in such a deal, like James Paxton, Luis Severino, Charlie Morton or Max Fried. Breslow, a pitching specialist, should have no trouble finding one who would fit his squad's needs.

A lot can change before July 30, though, and like the Red Sox, many other teams' fates are up in the air. Boston may not seek to trade Jansen at all anymore since he's been on a tear with the rest of the club in June. He's posted a 1.72 ERA in his last 15 appearances and only let up one run in his last 12 outings.

Breslow specified that he's looking for a temporary shortstop and a more permanent solution in the rotation, which means an impending free agent may not be enough to earn Jansen from the Sox. But if the Red Sox make a serious run for the wild card and they still need a starting pitcher, Breslow shouldn't be afraid to exercise all his options.

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