The Boston Red Sox pitching staff is in desperate need of attention. Part of that overhaul began on Wednesday.
Jeff Passan reported that the Red Sox had signed Kenley Jansen to solidify their hole in the ninth inning. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe noted that it is a two year deal worth $32 million, paying $16 million per season.
Boston Red Sox finally get someone to take their money
Jansen signing had to bring some relief to the Red Sox front office. They have been attempting to add pieces to their roster, only to see those players sign elsewhere. In some cases, those players took the same amount of money as the Red Sox offered, preferring to head to a different team instead of helping the Red Sox turn their roster around.
That does not make this signing any less of a risk. Despite leading the National League with 41 saves in his lone season with the Braves, he posted a 3.38 ERA and a 1.047 WHiP over his 64 innings, striking out 85 batters with 22 walks. It was a solid season, but not what Jansen was in his prime.
His metrics are also trending in the wrong direction. Jansen has seen his fly ball rate increase over the past four seasons, his 39.1% fly ball rate the highest of his career. Meanwhile, his hard hit rate jumped 17.4% since 2020 and his 85.6 MPH average exit velocity against was his second worst mark since 2017. That combination could be a disaster in a tough AL East.
At the same time, this is a move that the Red Sox had to make. Their bullpen was in need of a complete overhaul this offseason, especially as Matt Barnes could not be trusted to handle the closer role any longer. Jansen is a gamble, but he is also a gamble that the Red Sox had to take.
The Boston Red Sox have finally found someone to take their money. Kenley Jansen is heading to Boston to take over as their new closer.