MLB Snubs Red Sox Star for Rival as All-Star Pick

The Commissioner's Office chose Yankees closer Clay Holmes over Kenley Jansen.
Boston Red Sox v Cincinnati Reds
Boston Red Sox v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

On Sunday, the All-Star rosters were finalized for the 2024 MLB All-Star Game in Arlington, Texas. Rafael Devers, Tanner Houck, and Jarren Duran will be Boston's representatives in the Midsummer Classic. It is the first All-Star selection for Houck and Duran, while Devers earned his third trip.

But one particular omission from the list, closer Kenley Jansen, may have been have a victim of some pro-Yankee bias from the Commissioner's Office. Per Mac Cerullo of the Boston Herald, New York Yankees closer Clay Holmes was among those chosen by the Commissioner's Office over Jansen, a four-time All-Star. The 15-year vet was the lone Red Sox to make last year's American League All-Star team.

Holmes was a surprise inclusion in the American League bullpen over both Jansen and former Red Sox Craig Kimbrel (now with the Baltimore Orioles). Jansen carries a 3-1 record, while Holmes is 1-3.

Jansen holds a 2.01 ERA, while Holmes' ERA is nearly a full run higher at 3.00. In the categories that the Yankees closer leads, the margins are thin. Holmes has one more save than Jansen and has struck out two more batters. Holmes is probably the third-best closer in his division, let alone an All-Star.

All pitchers and reserve position players for the All-Star game are selected with a combination of player ballots and choices made by the MLB Commissioner's Office. Holmes was not a player ballot selection, but Rob Manfred put on his Yankee hat to send Holmes to Texas. Each team is required to have one All-Star representative, but Aaron Judge and Juan Soto had already been tabbed, so that excuse is null and void for Manfred's office.

With his 1-2-3 ninth inning at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night, Jansen secured his 438th career save, passing Francisco Rodriguez for fifth on the all-time saves list. Jansen and Kimbrel have jockeyed for position on the list this season, as both are active and rank within the top five. Kimbrel and Jansen currently have 440 and 438 career saves, respectively.

Jansen has been especially lights-out as of late in his last 10 appearances:

Holmes blew a save in the Bronx on Friday night, allowing a two-run, game-tying home run to Masataka Yoshida with two strikes and two outs in the ninth inning. The Red Sox would pull out a dramatic 5-3 win in 10 innings. Boston took two of three in the weekend series at Yankee Stadium.

The Red Sox have won 16 of their last 22, while the Yankees have lost 16 of their last 22. The Sox hot streak coinciding with a Yankee collapse makes Jansen's omission a little easier to swallow.

More Red Sox news and rumors: