Red Sox sign Kenley Jansen

Murderer's Crow

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2 year deals at these prices really don't hurt any team. If he sucks, oh well. But he won't and you have a closer. Love this for the Sox and doesn't stop any other signings.
 

circus catch

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I like this deal. A heavy investment in the bullpen, after all of the games they blew last year, was warranted. I'm guessing now they will turn to the lineup. At least, they better.
 

StuckOnYouk

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Yeah when Strahm is getting 2/15, the Jansen contract looks pretty damn good considering the insanity of the market. Bloom loves his value pieces and right now I'd say this is one.

Plus again, if we're struggling in this division by the ASB, he can be sent away for a prospect or two if he's doing well.
 

LesterFan

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Neutral on this. At first glance it looks like an overpay based on his name instead of performance. His walk rate over the last three seasons is 3.83 bb/9 which is much higher than his glory days. And he's been more prone to homers at times as well. That being said, he's an improvement over the guys they were using last season.
 

bosox188

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Ugh, I am not a fan of this guy. He's the sort of old Proven Closer that dumb teams overpay for.
We're paying $24 million next year for Jansen and Barnes, yeesh. Add in Martin and Brasier, that's $34 million for right-handed relievers aged 32 or older next year. Are old relief pitchers now the new market inefficiency?
Houck and Schreiber are already here, are in their 20s, make nothing, and I wouldn't be that surprised if either or both are better than the expensive old guys.

Most of it hasn't happened yet, and there's a long way to go, but it looks like my own personal nightmare offseason is still in play:
Xander leaves, we give a multi-year market rate deal for Jansen or Kimbrel, we sign Joey Gallo, we lose a million in international money by signing an expensive guy who isn't that good but got a QO, we trade good prospects for vets who aren't that great, we keep Brasier...
(That's just my own personal nightmare offseason, others will obviously disagree.)
Might need to brace myself for our multi-year contract to Gallo now I guess.
I mean, I feel like that's a feature not a bug. Isn't that a big part of why you want to develop a bunch of good homegrown talent and hit on a cheap diamond in the rough or two? So that you can give yourself some room to pay the inflated FA price on a few more guys, hope one or two hit, and when it all shakes out you've got enough to fill out a good pen while being at least a wash in terms of cost effectiveness overall.
 

BaseballJones

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So here's what they've gained/lost in the bullpen from last year:

Lost:
Robles - 5.84 era, 1.58 whip
Strahm - 3.83 era, 1.23 whip
Hernandez - 21.60 era, 3.30 whip
Diekman - 4.23 era, 1.49 whip
Sawamura - 3.73 era, 1.42 whip

Added:
Rodriguez - 4.47 era, 1.35 whip
Martin - 3.05 era, 0.98 whip
Jansen - 3.38 era, 1.05 whip

Am I missing anything so far?

EDIT: I'll just say that Martin and Jansen are better than any of the relievers in the "lost" category, so this definitely represents an improvement for the bullpen. Which was sorely needed, by the way.
 

mikcou

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2 year deals at these prices really don't hurt any team. If he sucks, oh well. But he won't and you have a closer. Love this for the Sox and doesn't stop any other signings.
I like Jansen and this deal too. But I disagree with the second point unless they are prepared to spend deep into the tax, which they have historically been pretty averse to do. They started with $75-85M to spend depending on arb awards. Taking the midpoint theyre down to $50M - that is not a ton if theyre serious about signing Xander and extending Devers as most would be used on those two.

Now, I've thought Xander was gone for a long time so this is the likely outcome of them realizing they wont sign Xander, but there is a pretty serious crowding out of other deals for the rest of the roster given how many weaknesses they have.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Jesus some people are hard to satisfy. This is a nice deal and there's plenty of room to spend on guys like this for the next two years.
This is where I am too. I like this deal, the money isn't crazy and it's only for two years. I think that one reliable arm--or a guy who has a history of being reliable--goes a long way in the weird world of bullpens. You slot him as your closer and then you can cascade the rest of the pitchers from there. The one thing that I've observed is that bullpen pitchers need (want) to know their roles. I think that Jansen does that, or in the very least, gives the impression of that. And that's important to a team.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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He's still good even if not the guy he was 5+ years ago. Plus, he's proven durable and it's only a 2-year deal. There are worse bets. The pen looks much better today than it did a few weeks ago.

I don't think it's possible to satisfy the loud and unhappy fans.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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So here's what they've gained/lost in the bullpen from last year:

Lost:
Robles - 5.84 era, 1.58 whip
Strahm - 3.83 era, 1.23 whip
Hernandez - 21.60 era, 3.30 whip
Diekman - 4.23 era, 1.49 whip
Sawamura - 3.73 era, 1.42 whip

Added:
Rodriguez - 4.47 era, 1.35 whip
Martin - 3.05 era, 0.98 whip
Jansen - 3.38 era, 1.05 whip

Am I missing anything so far?

EDIT: I'll just say that Martin and Jansen are better than any of the relievers in the "lost" category, so this definitely represents an improvement for the bullpen. Which was sorely needed, by the way.
Austin Davis and Tyler Danish in the lost category too. Whitlock potentially as well, if he’s in the rotation.

Jansen, Houck, Martin, Barnes, Schreiber, Brasier
Taylor, Rodriguez

German, Ort, Kelly, Crawford, Winckowski,
 

nvalvo

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People are complaining about Jansen’s walk rate, but I would direct your attention to his quality of contact numbers.

.167 xBA? That’ll play.
 

Bread of Yaz

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Mar 12, 2019
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Ugh, I am not a fan of this guy. He's the sort of old Proven Closer that dumb teams overpay for.
We're paying $24 million next year for Jansen and Barnes, yeesh. Add in Martin and Brasier, that's $34 million for right-handed relievers aged 32 or older next year. Are old relief pitchers now the new market inefficiency?
Houck and Schreiber are already here, are in their 20s, make nothing, and I wouldn't be that surprised if either or both are better than the expensive old guys.

Most of it hasn't happened yet, and there's a long way to go, but it looks like my own personal nightmare offseason is still in play:
Xander leaves, we give a multi-year market rate deal for Jansen or Kimbrel, we sign Joey Gallo, we lose a million in international money by signing an expensive guy who isn't that good but got a QO, we trade good prospects for vets who aren't that great, we keep Brasier...
(That's just my own personal nightmare offseason, others will obviously disagree.)
Might need to brace myself for our multi-year contract to Gallo now I guess.
Jansen's underlying metrics show that he was unlucky last year:

ERA: 3.38/xERA 2.24
BA: .192/xBA .169
SLG: .346/xSLG .292
wOBA: .265/xwOBA: .239

MLB-wide xwOBA was .309. He should be more than fine.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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This is where I am too. I like this deal, the money isn't crazy and it's only for two years. I think that one reliable arm--or a guy who has a history of being reliable--goes a long way in the weird world of bullpens. You slot him as your closer and then you can cascade the rest of the pitchers from there. The one thing that I've observed is that bullpen pitchers need (want) to know their roles. I think that Jansen does that, or in the very least, gives the impression of that. And that's important to a team.
This is why the closer-by-committee idea seems to break down so often. Pitchers are creatures of routine, and it takes a bit of time to get amped up and in the proper head space to enter a game. Giving pitchers expected roles helps their performance, IMO.
 

Jack Rabbit Slim

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Seems like they still need another lefty for the pen so they don't have to rely on Josh Taylor's bad back.

And I agree with others that Houck is probably traded to a team that sees him as a starter.
 

Ale Xander

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Don't hate don';t love. Don't like the idea of both Houck and Whitlock as starters, but this shores up the bullpen. Would rather though have kept Houck as closer and use the cost savings on a proven starter.

Now need to get offense so we have leads to protect.
 

MtPleasant Paul

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I think he could bring a lot. He could be a legit centerpiece for Murphy. He could bring back Kim Ha-Seong straight up. He could bring back Kepler and much more from Minnesota.
I think maybe Houck slides into the starting rotation. He, Whitlock and Bello give us some youth there. They may have decided there is more value in signing relief pitchers than to pay the current extortionate prices for starters
 

bosox188

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Don't hate don';t love. Don't like the idea of both Houck and Whitlock as starters, but this shores up the bullpen. Would rather though have kept Houck as closer and use the cost savings on a proven starter.

Now need to get offense so we have leads to protect.
It's quite possible that they're still going to sign a proven starter or two and free up Houck to be packaged as part of a trade for an outfielder like Reynolds.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I think maybe Houck slides into the starting rotation. He, Whitlock and Bello give us some youth there. They may have decided there is more value in signing relief pitchers than to pay the current extortionate prices for starters
They are running out of room, especially if they are planing on signing another starter.

Sale, Pivetta, Paxton, Bello, Whitlock

Granted, injuries will happen but the roster is getting crowded with pitchers .
 

chawson

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Very, very good signing. Typically not wild about “proven closer”-type deals, but rumors of Jansen’s demise has been wildly overstated.

Any chance this helps Xander re-sign? They’re both Team Netherlands dudes, right? Doubt it moves the needle much but could be something if they’re buds.
 

chawson

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They are running out of room, especially if they are planing on signing another starter.

Sale, Pivetta, Paxton, Bello, Whitlock

Granted, injuries will happen but the roster is getting crowded with pitchers .
Pivetta is getting dealt. And in this SP market, he’s gonna get something nice.

[Edit: Houck too.]
 

BaseballJones

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Bullpen:

Closer: Jansen
RHP: Houck, Schreiber, Brasier, Barnes
LHP: Taylor, Rodriguez

Who else?
 

Ale Xander

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Very, very good signing. Typically not wild about “proven closer”-type deals, but rumors of Jansen’s demise has been wildly overstated.

Any chance this helps Xander re-sign? They’re both Team Netherlands dudes, right? Doubt it moves the needle much but could be something if they’re buds.
Yes, Kenley and Xander are good friends.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Pivetta is getting dealt. And in this SP market, he’s gonna get something nice.

[Edit: Houck too.]
You’ve been consistent in this all along so I will give you that, but if they dump both guys they will need to add a starter- who will likely be 2.5-3x what Pivetta costs. Guess it depends what they can bring back but given the other members of the rotation, I’d probably keep both guys and not add another starter at this time (unless they can move these two for an established starter, which seems possible….)
 

SouthernBoSox

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Don't hate don';t love. Don't like the idea of both Houck and Whitlock as starters, but this shores up the bullpen. Would rather though have kept Houck as closer and use the cost savings on a proven starter.

Now need to get offense so we have leads to protect.
I don't think this means Houck is for sure a starter. Whitlock is and I think its absolutely the right move given this market. Much easier and cost effective way to upgrade the rotation.

It also allows you to shop Houck if someone if prepared to view him as a starter. If not, he can be a devastating swing man and right handed killer.
 

AlNipper49

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I think for a team with playoff aspirations as the Sox presumably do, Houck is exactly who you keep around. With modern playoffs keeping SPs to 3 or 4 innings, the more multi-inning eaters that you have the better.
 

Ale Xander

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I think for a team with playoff aspirations as the Sox presumably do, Houck is exactly who you keep around. With modern playoffs keeping SPs to 3 or 4 innings, the more multi-inning eaters that you have the better.
Especially when he's cheap.

I wouldn't trade Houck for Gorman. I'd much rather do a Barnes or Schreiber, plus a prospect deal for a buy-low guy like Nootbar.
 

absintheofmalaise

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Very, very good signing. Typically not wild about “proven closer”-type deals, but rumors of Jansen’s demise has been wildly overstated.

Any chance this helps Xander re-sign? They’re both Team Netherlands dudes, right? Doubt it moves the needle much but could be something if they’re buds.
Ale addressed them being friends. Where I also think it could help is that it shows X, and others, that they are taking the necessary steps to improve the pen.
 

nvalvo

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You’ve been consistent in this all along so I will give you that, but if they dump both guys they will need to add a starter- who will likely be 2.5-3x what Pivetta costs. Guess it depends what they can bring back but given the other members of the rotation, I’d probably keep both guys and not add another starter at this time (unless they can move these two for an established starter, which seems possible….)
I'd offer Kodai Senga the rumored 5/$100 and maybe retain Wacha.

That could free up Houck and Pivetta for trades, which we could use to shift some resources to e.g. C, OF, DH.

It would leave us with a rotation of (in whatever order you like) Senga, Bello, Whitlock, Wacha, Sale, Paxton, Crawford... There's a lot of upside there. Also plenty of risk. Not terribly expensive, either.
 
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Ganthem

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Apr 7, 2022
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Austin Davis and Tyler Danish in the lost category too. Whitlock potentially as well, if he’s in the rotation.

Jansen, Houck, Martin, Barnes, Schreiber, Brasier
Taylor, Rodriguez

German, Ort, Kelly, Crawford, Winckowski,
Houck seemed to find himself last year as the closer. I would think a bullpen that Has Shrieber/Martin as the 8th inning guy, Jensen as the closer, and Houck as a fireman who can come in to squash a rally by the opposing team and can pitch multiple innings can be useful.
 

cornwalls@6

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I like this move. His performance and availability have been steady for years, and as others have noted, the move slots everyone else into their more appropriate places in the pen. As well as providing more options for the rotation with Houck and Whitlock, or freeing up trade pieces to address OF, and and maybe a RHB for first. The kind of, maybe not sexy, but sound roster construction move they're going to need to get back into, and sustain, contention. Very interested to see how the rest of the chips fall.
 
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Merkle's Boner

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I'd offer Kodai Senga the rumored 5/$100 and maybe retain Wacha.

That could free up Houck and Pivetta for trades, which we could use to shift some resources to e.g. C, OF, DH.

It would leave us with a rotation of (in whatever order you like) Senga, Bello, Whitlock, Wacha, Sale, Paxton, Crawford... There's a lot of upside there. Also plenty of risk. Not terribly expensive, either.
No thanks. He sucked the first time around!
 

ehaz

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I love this deal. Who gives a damn about the high AAV with the new CBA and all the money pouring in this market? Jansen still misses bats at an elite level even if he's regressed a tad from his peak. We have a 13-year sample size of consistency without any truly terrible seasons. This is vastly different than overpaying for Barnes. Top 3% of MLB last year in xwOBA against. Top 7% of MLB in xSLG against--his third straight year in the top 10. Even if you just look at balls in play when hitters make contact against Jansen, their expected production is terrible. You can move Schreiber/Houck(?) into pure relief ace roles and keep Jansen as the closer to keep him fresh. And it's only 2 years in a market where Edwin Diaz basically got the Kevin Gausman/Zack Wheeler contract.
 

Toe Nash

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Meh.

The good thing about a "Proven Closer" who isn't elite is that the 9th inning isn't always highest-leverage so you can find other relievers to fill in the spots that are who might be better and don't cost as much. The bad thing is that he's going to lose you some more games, but hopefully not a ton. If he can limit the HR he'll be fine and isn't a big risk to be terrible.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Long time lurker here - thank you for giving me the chance to discuss the Red Sox with a lot of people much smarter than I am about the sport of baseball - and I wanted to post that I really like this signing.

Generally speaking, players whom get to free agency are going to have some kind of questions associated with them. Maybe it's age / length of the deal, maybe it's AAV, injury history but with pretty much any deal and any player one can find something to be worried about in a signing.

However, for a team like the Red Sox with vast financial resources, I really like the idea of possibly over-paying a bit in AAV to shorten the duration of the deal, especially with older players. Jansen is as proven as any relief pitcher really can be, and I think he's a pretty drastic upgrade from what we had last year.

While I understand the tightrope aspect that folks see in some of his saves, and while realizing blown saves are not the be all / end all stat for relievers, he's averaged around 4.75 blown saves per season since the time he became a full time closer. All save chances aren't created equally, but this gives a pretty good point of reference. Comparatively to this year's market Edwin Diaz has averaged about 4.45 blown saves per season. On a Red Sox standpoint Papelbon I felt confident with and he averaged around 4.45 blown saves per season as well during his tenure as a closer. The most confident I ever felt was with Koji Uehara, and he averaged around 3.35 blown saves per year as Red Sox closer, but this was a much smaller sample size in terms of number of seasons than we're talking about with Diaz, Jansen or Papelbon.

Generally speaking, since you can't blow a third of a game, if on the high side he blows one more save situation per year than the best closer I can think of in Red Sox history and the top relief pitcher on the market - but for a much lesser commitment, I'll take it and be happy.

I haven't been thrilled with the names we've been "close on" apparently, I think they have FAR more question marks than Jansen does. I think Jansen is a better bet than names we've been linked - however accurate those are (Haniger, Heaney, Eflin and Kahnle) AND I like his addition more than the two names we've landed (Martin and Rodriguez). I think this is a nice addition.
 
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ehaz

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Meh.

The good thing about a "Proven Closer" who isn't elite is that the 9th inning isn't always highest-leverage so you can find other relievers to fill in the spots that are who might be better and don't cost as much. The bad thing is that he's going to lose you some more games, but hopefully not a ton. If he can limit the HR he'll be fine and isn't a big risk to be terrible.
It’s an imperfect statistic but 79 saves in 91 opportunities over last 2 seasons. I haven’t looked at the Sox’s team statistics but I am very doubtful that he’s “going to lose you some more games.”

edit:

View: https://twitter.com/gfstarr1/status/1600519491938664448?s=20&t=xxdWgbpl_yCh526luf5ntQ
 
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8slim

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Good. Reliable, consistent, and a reasonable deal given his position. Just give me proven arms that aren't coming off catastrophic injuries.

Tons more work to do, but this is a positive step.
 

radsoxfan

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Perhaps I’m misinterpreting, but when people use the term “Proven Closer” sarcastically, they’re implying it’s an overpay for the title of closer. This certainly may be true sometimes, but Jansen is legitimately good without any title.

Is there a risk he can’t keep it up? Sure. I know a few years ago on the Dodgers the stuff was declining a bit and it seemed like he was heading off the cliff until he righted the ship. Could obviously happen for real in the next 2 years.

But Jansen has been very good for awhile, and if anything he was unlucky last season. Seems like we’re paying for a very good reliever, not falling prey to the “Proven Closer” problem.
 

ngruz25

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Martin and Jansen are about as reliable and consist of bullpen arms as you can possibly hope for. We know what they're going to give us. After a few years of volatility in the bullpen, I take comfort in that.
 

jon abbey

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It’s an imperfect statistic but 79 saves in 91 opportunities over last 2 seasons. I haven’t looked at the Sox’s team statistics but I am very doubtful that he’s “going to lose you some more games.”

edit:

View: https://twitter.com/gfstarr1/status/1600519491938664448?s=20&t=xxdWgbpl_yCh526luf5ntQ
This is obviously a wildly wrong stat, how can anyone think any MLB team only had 11 successful saves in a full season? I don't know how many blown saves they had (keeping in mind that is a dumb stat as guys can blow saves in the 7th or 8th or even earlier) but they had 39 successful saves, not 11 (!!!).
 

JM3

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It's a pretty silly stat, but here it is:

Team Blown Saves Opportunities Blown Save%
Pirates
28​
60​
46.67%​
Rangers
29​
64​
45.31%​
Rays
36​
80​
45.00%​
Diamondbacks
26​
58​
44.83%​
Marlins
31​
71​
43.66%​
Red Sox
28
65
43.08%
Reds
22​
52​
42.31%​
Twins
27​
64​
42.19%​
Athletics
24​
57​
42.11%​
Angels
27​
65​
41.54%​
Cubs
30​
74​
40.54%​
Royals
21​
53​
39.62%​
Nationals
17​
45​
37.78%​
Brewers
30​
81​
37.04%​
Blue Jays
25​
70​
35.71%​
Giants
21​
61​
34.43%​
Rockies
21​
62​
33.87%​
Braves
27​
81​
33.33%​
White Sox
23​
70​
32.86%​
Padres
22​
69​
31.88%​
Yankees
21​
66​
31.82%​
Phillies
18​
59​
30.51%​
Tigers
16​
53​
30.19%​
Cardinals
16​
53​
30.19%​
Dodgers
18​
61​
29.51%​
Mariners
15​
54​
27.78%​
Mets
15​
55​
27.27%​
Guardians
18​
68​
26.47%​
Astros
16​
68​
23.53%​
Orioles
13​
58​
22.41%​


(took the stats from here https://sports.betmgm.com/en/blog/mlb/most-blown-saves-mlb-2022-sgc/ & added a % column because that seemed more interesting than the raw # of blown saves)