The Boston Red Sox have entered the offseason acting like an impoverished franchise that cannot afford to spend without clearing out payroll first.
While that could not be further from the truth, Red Sox ownership appears to no longer value winning. With that said, if payroll is going to be shed, closer Kenley Jansen makes the most sense to be moved.
“If you look at Jensen, he’s still a really good closer,” FanSided’s Robert Murray said on “The Baseball Insiders” on Monday. “Teams always want a good arm in the ninth inning and I think that could end up being a case where some team would be really interested in that.”
“I do wonder — this is just my speculation, I want to make that incredibly clear — but the Dodgers make a lot of sense there, don’t they?” Murray questioned. “They need a guy in the ninth inning. Jensen obviously knows Los Angeles. They clearly are open to adding money to the payroll because I mean look at how much they’ve spent this offseason. It makes a whole lot of sense.”
I wrote an in-depth breakdown not long ago on this exact topic, MassLive’s Chris Cotillo threw out the same idea as well.
Jansen posted a 3.63 ERA with a 52-to-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio, .237 batting average against and a 1.28 WHIP in 44 2/3 innings in his debut season in Boston. Most notably, he went 29-for-33 in save opportunities.
The right-hander is owed $16 million next season, the final year of his two-year contract. Freeing up that kind of money given the team’s budget could be significant — though there is no reason for a budgetary restriction of any kind after resetting the luxury tax a year ago.