When the Boston Red Sox finished the 2022 regular season and missed the playoffs, one thing was clear: they needed help in the bullpen. Specifically, they needed a back-end closer that could be called upon anytime to get the final three outs for a win.
The Red Sox had a stretch of closers that were dominant. Jonathan Papelbon, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel were those guys that you trusted to come in the ninth inning and nail down a victory.
For the last few years, the Red Sox didn’t have that. But now, they have that after they signed Kenley Jansen in the off-season.
Jansen had many great seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and had an incredible 2022 season with the Atlanta Braves.
So far in 2023, the Red Sox closer has 17 saves. That helped the 35 year old Jansen be the only Red Sox representative for the 2023 MLB All-Star game.
Boston Red Sox having a reliable closer in Kenley Jansen
It’s so nice to see that the Red Sox once again have a reliable closer in Jansen.
Does he have his bad outings? Of course! No closer is perfect. Example A being the second Toronto game in this past series. Sure, the Red Sox swept the Blue Jays this weekend, which is awesome. But it didn’t come without some drama and an Alex Verdugo throwing Bo Bichette out at the plate play to end the game. But, Jansen got the job done.
For the most part, Jansen comes in and gets the job done. He’s around the zone and it looks like his cut fastball is having that late life on it that made him successful in Los Angeles and Atlanta.
So yes, the bad outings are BAD. But a lot of the time, you can trust Jansen to get the job done when it is needed the most.
Boston Red Sox having a potential trade piece in All-star Kenley Jansen
I know this sounds weird, considering he just made the All-star game. But you can make Jansen that much more expendable if the team decides to go into a full sell mode.
Want your voice heard? Join the Chowder And Champions team!
If the Red Sox end up selling and punting on 2023 at the trade deadline, Jansen could land you a solid piece or two. Send him to a team that is a closer away from making a deep postseason run this year.
Yes, you would be back to where you were a year earlier in not having a closer. But would you potentially risk it to get a good prospect or even MLB ready player? I’d take that chance if the player in return has years of team control.
Congratulations to Jansen on making the All-Star game in his first season with the Red Sox.
It’s great to see the Red Sox have a back end of the bullpen arm that they can actually depend on, for the most part.
Now the question is: does Kenley finish the 2023 season in Boston? Or do the Red Sox get bold and trade away the All-star closer for future pieces?
Chaim Bloom has a tough decision to make with the current Boston Red Sox All-Star closer.