The Boston Red Sox have been very quiet this winter, with their only major move being the signing of Lucas Giolito.
On Thursday, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that while the Texas Rangers are the favorites to sign left-hander Jordan Montgomery, the Red Sox could make a late run for him. But there's a catch.
Boston has been very conservative with its payroll, and in order to make room for Montgomery and give him the deal he desires, they would have to shed salary by trading away closer Kenley Jansen.
The Philadelphia Phillies look to be a threat in the NL East, but are lacking a true closer, which if added would give them a better chance to compete with the Atlanta Braves for the top spot in the division. Could Jansen ultimately be headed for Philadelphia if the Red Sox try to sign Montgomery?
In this piece, we will take a look at a potential package that the Phillies could send the Red Sox that would make sense, but also allow Boston to shed some payroll.
Potential Phillies-Red Sox trade package for Kenley Jansen
It's clear that the Red Sox are being very conservative with their payroll, perhaps a bit too conservative given their market.
But if trading Jansen allows them to pursue a top-level starting pitcher, which they so desperately need, then they're going to need to make sure they get a good enough return for him.
Jansen is in the final year of his contract with Boston, so the Red Sox likely won't get any top prospects for him, especially with him being 36.
But Boston's bullpen would take a significant hit without Jansen, so their best bet would be to acquire some relief pitching help from the Phillies.
Boston will need at least two pieces from the Phillies to compensate for the loss of Jansen. One of those pieces could be left-hander Matt Strahm, who spent the 2022 season with the Red Sox.
Strahm is a valuable option against left-handed hitters and somebody that can be trusted in high-leverage spots.
Another option could be right-hander Nick Nelson, who spent most of 2023 in the minor leagues after suffering an injury early in the season. Nelson is still only 28 and will likely be looking for a bounce-back campaign. He could be somebody that might benefit from a change of scenery.
Boston could also look into right-hander Connor Brogdon, who had a difficult season in 2023, posting a 4.03 ERA. However, in years past, Brogdon has been a very dependable reliever for the Phillies.
At 29, the right-hander is still relatively young and could be a valuable addition to the Red Sox bullpen if added. It will likely take at least two of the listed relievers for Boston to move Jansen.
If Jansen is moved, Boston would have the option of giving right-hander Garrett Whitlock another shot as the closer. He was used in that role when the Red Sox made their surprise run to the ALCS in 2021.
Boston would then have the payroll room they feel they need in order to go out and sign Montgomery.