Red Sox News: Kenley Jansen trade rumors, Shōta Imanaga free agency, Jorge Soler

Boston still has a lot of work to do this offseason to truly improve the team.

Aug 30, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) throws a
Aug 30, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) throws a / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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After giving up longtime ace Chris Sale, signing Lucas Giolito, and possibly finding a new starting second baseman in Vaughn Grissom, the Red Sox's offseason is still far from over.

Despite making more noise this offseason than in the few years past, Boston still needs to add quality starting pitching -- ideally left-handed -- and a powerful right-handed bat. Yet, just the same as in years past, the Red Sox front office is unwilling to spend somewhat uncomfortably to improve the team.

The Red Sox have still been linked to a few key free agents that could take the club to the next level, but that may require moving more current players.

Boston making Kenley Jansen available for trades, per reports

Rumors have swirled about Kenley Jansen's fate with the Red Sox for weeks. And there's finally been some clarity on that. Per USA Today's Bob Nightengale, Jansen has been made available in trades this offseason.

The Red Sox have repeatedly said they would be pursuing starting pitching. Even after signing Giolito, there's still more work to be done to find an ace for the roster. Trading Jansen could free up more money for the Sox to sign a starting pitcher, and it would open another spot on the 40-man roster.

Jansen was selected as an All-Star with Boston last season, so his trade value could be decently high. He posted a 3.63 ERA, 52 strikeouts and 29 saves in 44.2 innings pitched. It could be difficult to find a team willing to take on his $16 million salary for 2024, however. The advantage here is that he'll be a free agent after 2024, so his money will be coming off the books for any contender that takes the plunge.

Red Sox losing grip on Shōta Imanaga

After losing out on Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the Red Sox were in hot pursuit of Shōta Imanaga. The 30-year-old left-hander has been a staple of the Yokohama BayStars for the majority of his Nippon Professional Baseball career.

Rumors have surfaced suggesting Imanaga is most likely going to sign with the San Francisco Giants. This is a serious blow to Boston's offseason plans — the Red Sox desperately need a left-handed pitcher in their rotation of all righties, and Imanaga is a veteran of the game who just came off a great season.

Imanaga registered a career-high 188 strikeouts last season and clocked a 2.66 ERA. The 45-day window to sign Imanaga closes this Thursday, Jan. 11, and teams who missed out on bigger targets this offseason, such as the Giants, Cubs and Red Sox, are scrambling to sign him. The Giants, though, are the true favorites, according to multiple reports.

Boston targeting Jorge Soler for right-handed power

The Red Sox lost yet another player they were targeting to the Dodgers when LA signed Teoscar Hernández late on Jan. 7. Boston needs a powerful right-handed bat in its lefty-heavy batting order, and the front office has seemingly turned to Jorge Soler to bring it.

Since LA's signing of Hernández, the Sox might be taking their pursuit of Soler much more seriously. The right-handed slugger lacks the defensive prowess of Hernández, but his bat could make him worth it. Boston isn't the only club interested in Soler — the Red Sox would have to beat out the Mariners, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Nationals, and Soler's 2023 squad, the Marlins, for his signature.

With Miami, Soler batted .250 and crushed 36 home runs and 75 RBI. He could slot in well at the top of Boston's order and, with any luck, he could make his presence known on Landsdowne St.

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