Red Sox make Kenley Jansen signing official, designate Hoy Park for assignment

The Red Sox have officially signed closer Kenley Jansen to a two-year contract that runs through the 2024 season, the club announced on Tuesday. In order to make room for Jansen on the 40-man roster, infielder/outfielder Hoy Park was designated for assignment.

Jansen, 35, agreed to a two-year, $32 million deal with Boston last week and was introduced to the media at Fenway Park earlier Tuesday afternoon. The veteran right-hander is slated to anchor a new-look Red Sox bullpen that will include other recent additions like Chris Martin and Joely Rodriguez as well as Matt Barnes and John Schreiber among other setup options.

Since seeing Craig Kimbrel depart in free agency at the conclusion of the 2018 campaign, the Red Sox have used 20 different pitchers to record saves over the last four seasons. Jansen, who currently ranks eighth in American/National League history with 391 career saves, will look to provide manager Alex Cora with more stability in the ninth inning moving forward.

After a decorated 12-year tenure with the Dodgers in which he he made three All-Star teams and saved 350 games from 2010 to 2021, Jansen spent the 2022 season with the Braves. The Curacao native converted a National League-best 41 of 48 saves for Atlanta while posting a 3.38 ERA and 3.21 FIP with 85 strikeouts to 22 walks over 65 relief appearances spanning 64 innings of work.

Jansen, who does not turn 36 until next September, will wear the No. 74 with the Red Sox, meaning catcher Connor Wong will have to find a new uniform number.

Park, on the other hand, was acquired from the Pirates late last month in exchange for pitching prospect Inmer Lobo. The 26-year-old originally broke in with the Yankees last July prior to being dealt to Pittsburgh in a trade that sent All-Star reliever Clay Holmes to New York.

In 23 games with the Pirates this past season, Park went 11-for-51 (.216) with two doubles, two home runs, six RBIs, seven runs scored, one stolen base, four walks, and 15 strikeouts. Since debuting last summer, the left-handed hitter out of South Korea owns a career .201/.276/.373 slash line to go along with seven doubles, two triples, five homers, 20 runs driven in, 23 runs scored, two stolen bases, 22 walks, and 53 strikeouts over 68 career games (210 plate appearances) at the big-league level.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the Red Sox were intrigued by Park’s versatility, as the 6-1, 200-pounder already has accrued major-league experience at every defensive position besides pitcher, catcher, and first base. Boston will now have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Park, who has the ability to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency since he has previously been outrighted in his career.

Following Tuesday’s announcement, the Red Sox now have 40 players on their 40-man roster. They will need to make another move once they are ready to announce the signing of Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida.

(Picture of Kenley Jansen: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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