Could Dodgers help Red Sox yet again with Kenley Jansen reunion?

Is a reunion worth making Boston more flexible?
Gatorade All-Star Workout Day
Gatorade All-Star Workout Day / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox seem hell bent on both adding free agents for 2024 and shedding some of the free agents they signed last offseason. Is that the type of shakeup this last-place team needs? It's certainly possible, though, counterpoint: the Red Sox are the Red Sox, and they don't need to subtract in order to add?

Boston's roster would look a lot better with Teoscar Hernández thumping in the middle of the lineup and Jordan Montgomery in the rotation, but there's no need for a team that's nearly $40 million below the luxury tax threshold to dump key cogs in order to expand their belts and import more talent. Plus, there's certainly no guarantee that Boston's suddenly spendthrift ownership will add two more mondo free agents if they cut bait on a few incumbent salaries. All we know is that the Sox reportedly told one current free agent that they'd love to pursue him more heavily, but cannot do so until they shed more cash from their payroll. That FA could've been Hernández. It could've been Monty. It could've been James Paxton -- and that wouldn't be stunning, considering Lucas Giolito cost almost $20 million per year.

Regardless of how potent the forthcoming addition might be, more movement is coming in Boston after Craig Breslow shucked $10.5 million of Chris Sale's salary off the books and ate $17 million more. The most buzzed-about name on the trade market is closer Kenley Jansen, a $16 million luxury and an odd fit for a last-place roster. In Boston's ideal world, Jansen's money would reside on someone else's payroll and Tanner Houck/Garrett Whitlock would learn on the fly what it means to close under pressure.

Would it be worth it for the Dodgers to be that "someone else's payroll"? Would they rather counter and ask for a different reunion: Chris Martin and his $7.5 million?

Dodgers can help Red Sox perceived payroll issues with Kenley Jansen trade

You don't have to Google very hard to uncover several instances where the Dodgers took problematic contracts off the Red Sox hands -- or saved Boston from having to make a difficult decision. The David Price contract was a small price to pay for Mookie Betts, while the Adrian González/Carl Crawford/Josh Beckett deal paved the path for Boston's 2013 World Series win (and gave the Dodgers a stalwart in A-Gon).

Jansen made the All-Star team in 2023, though he pitched far more effectively away from Fenway Park than in his own "friendly" confines (4.87 ERA at home/2.59 on the road). If the Dodgers still have a Hail Mary Emmanuel Clase trade in the works, that would obviously be preferable. If they wanted to engage in Josh Hader's quest to top Edwin Diaz's closer salary record, they certainly could. But one year of above-average familiarity with Jansen would be a nice direction to go in, too, even if it does come with the consequence of allowing Boston to swipe Hernández from beneath their noses.

Perhaps it's time to put those lingering hard feelings to bed either way.