The Boston Red Sox made a major splash in MLB free agency on Wednesday when they acquired the top closer on the market, Kenley Jansen.
The closer spot in the Red Sox bullpen was a major weakness in 2022. With no clear-cut option to finish out games, manager Alex Cora went with a closer-by-committee approach last season. However, that is not a feasible long-term plan for a winning team and the organization addressed that issue today.
On Wednesday, ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan reported that the organization and the top closer in this year’s MLB free agent class, Kenley Jansen, had reached an agreement on a two-year contract that will pay the Atlanta Braves star $32 million.
The deal will give Jansen an average of $16 million annually. Making him the second-highest-paid closer in MLB only behind New York Mets All-Star Edwin Diaz.
Boston Red Sox add Kenley Jansen in MLB free agency
Jansen pitched for the Braves in 2022, his first and now only season with the organization. Before that he became one of the elite closers in the game during a 12-year run with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Helping the organization win a World Series title in 2020.
- Kenley Jansen stats (2022): 5-2, 41 saves, 3.38 ERA, 1.047 WHIP
Last season, the 35-year-old was 5-2 with 41 saves in 65 appearances for the National League East champions. He is a three-time All-Star and he has had 30 or more saves in seven of the last eight years. The only year in which he did not surpass 30 saves was during the 2020 pandemic-shortened season.
Jansen has a 2.46 career ERA with 1,107 strikeouts in 769.0 innings pitched.