Red Sox nearly traded Kenley Jansen to Dodgers in deal that would’ve angered fans

2024 Boston Red Sox Spring Training
2024 Boston Red Sox Spring Training / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox have reportedly been looking to trade Kenley Jansen since January. The team signing fellow closer Liam Hendriks has made the need to trade Jansen even more pressing, especially if there's no plan to contend in 2024.

And it turns out the Sox were close to moving the big-name right-hander, but perhaps his injury issues derailed the progress.

Boston and the Los Angeles Dodgers engaged in trade talks to bring Jansen back to the team he spent most of his career with. The Dodgers have since traded the Sox's potential return to the Twins in order to bring back Kiké Hernández.

Manuel Margot was traded to the Dodgers from the Rays as part of their exchange for Tyler Glasnow and was expected to be the return package for Jansen.

Red Sox could've gotten Manuel Margot from the Dodgers in exchange for Kenley Jansen

Margot would've suited Boston's roster, but he wouldn't have been the best answer to a lot of the team's issues. He's a versatile outfielder with experience in all three outfield spots. He's a good defender with decent speed and could have filled an everyday slot in the Sox's pastures.

He bats right-handed, which Boston could've used. The lineup is stacked with lefties, which is a hge advantage, but Margot lacks the power the Red Sox were seeking from a righty bat. He has 50 extra-base hits in his past two seasons, only eight of which were homers. Jorge Soler would've been the ideal choice to solve Boston's outfield depth and righty power issues, especially since Margot costs $12 million for the 2024 season.

Swapping Jansen's salary for Margot's would've only saved the Sox $4 million and would've have helped their roster much at all.

Surely, Jansen would've been happier with the Dodgers. He could walk out of the bullpen to the tune of "California Love" and play for a winning club. He's even expressed his frustrations with the state of the Red Sox roster to reporters, admitting he signed with Boston to win games, which has not been the case since he came aboard.

Jansen is still rehabbing from lat soreness and it's unclear when he'll make his spring debut. If the Sox can hold onto him until the trade deadline and find a desperate suitor in need of a closer, that'd be the ideal way to approach his trade market, since it's clear teams aren't biting at the moment because of Jansen's elevated salary and early injury concerns.

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