Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen will be delayed in camp by what chief baseball officer Craig Breslow described as “general lat soreness,” as relayed by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe (X link). The four-time All-Star isn’t yet throwing, although he has been cleared to take part in other drills.
There’s nothing to suggest the issue is particularly serious or even threatens Jansen’s availability for Opening Day. It could be a small complicating factor in trade discussions that Boston has regarding the veteran righty, however. The Sox are reportedly open to offers on each of Jansen, Chris Martin and John Schreiber. Jansen’s name has been floated most frequently among that group, largely a reflection of his $16MM salary for the upcoming season. Jen McCaffrey of the Athletic reports that, as of Wednesday evening, the Sox weren’t close to a Jansen deal.
Breslow acknowledged the team could field trade interest on the veteran reliever yesterday. “Where we stand is he’s on this team, he is an All-Star-caliber closer who’s had an incredible career, and we’re happy for that,” he told reporters on Tuesday (link via Speier). “We have talented players on our team that are potentially of interest to others. But as of right now we’re excited about what he brings, what the back end of our bullpen brings, and the depth that we have down there.”
Jansen has generally avoided arm injuries throughout his career. He has had a few injured list stints over the years related to an irregular heartbeat and had a minimal IL stay last September for virus reasons. He was otherwise healthy in 2023 and pitched 51 times. In 44 2/3 innings, he worked to a 3.63 ERA. Jansen struck out 27.7% of opposing hitters and averaged 94.3 MPH on his cutter — his highest average velocity in a decade.