Breslow gives update on Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen amid trade rumors

Breslow gives update on Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen amid trade rumors originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Red Sox have very little chance of competing in the 2024 MLB season.

They have finished in last place each of the last two years, and given the strength of the American League East -- arguably the best division in the sport -- it's hard to imagine that streak ending soon. Boston's offseason has been very underwhelming with no major additions to the roster so far.

If the Red Sox are truly rebuilding, then it does make sense to shop some of their veteran players who could help a contending team. One of those players is closer Kenley Jansen, who's been the subject of trade rumors for most of the offseason. He is still a very good pitcher and about to enter the final year of his contract with a $16 million salary.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow was asked Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla., where the club stands with Jansen as spring training nears.

"Where we stand is he's on this team," Breslow said in a press conference. "He's an All Star-caliber closer who's had an incredible career, and we're happy for that. We have talented players on this team who are potentially of interest to others, but as of right now, we're excited about what he brings and what the back end of our bullpen brings, and the depth that we have down there."

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal talked about Jansen on Monday's episode of his podcast titled Fair Territory.

"There's been a lot of talk about a possible Jansen trade. I don't see it happening necessarily at this point," Rosenthal said. "Granted, for a team that's cutting payroll and doesn't seem to be putting forth its full effort, a $16 million closer is a luxury, especially one at an advanced age."

Jansen is 36 years old. He tallied 29 saves with a 3.63 ERA, 52 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP in 44 2/3 innings last season.

It does make some sense to go into the regular season with Jansen. If the Red Sox exceed expectations and find themselves in the playoff race by the trade deadline, then maybe you keep him. But if that's not the case, trading him makes the most sense.

And there are always contending teams looking for bullpen help near the trade deadline.