In case you needed more evidence why the Boston Red Sox parted ways with Chaim Bloom, Kenley Jansen provided an extra heaping of it Wednesday.
The Red Sox closer, who is set to miss the postseason for the first time since 2012 after nine playoff runs with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2013 to 2021) and one with the Atlanta Braves (2022), sounded off on Boston's 2023 shortcomings and directed some pointed comments at the front office for its failure to improve the roster at the MLB trade deadline.
"Ten straight years in the playoffs," Jansen told Audacy's Rob Bradford on the "Baseball Isn't Boring" podcast. "Frustrating. Disappointment. All come together. Not happy. To be quite honest for you, I don’t know how to play for numbers. I only know how to competing for a championship. That’s me just being honest."
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The Red Sox were seven games over .500 and 1.5 games out of a Wild Card spot on Aug. 1, but Bloom didn't make any notable additions at the trade deadline outside of backup infielder Luis Urias from the Milwaukee Brewers and middle reliever Mauricio Llovera.
That approach didn't sit well with Jansen.
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"We do have a great team and if we would have (added) a couple of starters (at the trade deadline) we wouldn’t be talking about this right now," Jansen said. "We would be playing in a Wild Card game right now."
Jansen spotlighted pitching as the key need that Boston failed to address at the deadline.
"We needed help. I knew it," Jansen told Bradford. "That’s the mindset we came in with. I won’t speak for (teammate Justin Turner), but we knew to keep it close, and we were close. We were 1/2 game out and we were playing great.
"But when you ask to have tons and tons and tons of bullpen games, at some point everybody is going to get tired and that’s what happened and we fell off. It’s definitely frustrating."
The Red Sox justified their passive approach by noting the pending returns of pitcher Chris Sale, Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck, who missed time early in the season due to injury. By the end of August, however, Boston's pitching depth was essentially shot, an issue that came to a head in journeyman Kyle Barraclough's disastrous Aug. 29 outing against the Houston Astros.
"I understand the direction Chaim was going, but at the same (time) … Listen, Chaim is a great guy. I love him and I wish him nothing but the best. But I feel like that’s when we fell short, if I can say my true opinion and be realistic," Jansen said.
" ... At the end of the day, the depth wasn’t there. My experience playing 10 years with 10 different rosters, every roster had pitching depth. You have to get depth."
Instead, Bloom stood pat and staked the Red Sox' hopes to a young core that one day might return the team to success. In Jansen's eyes, however, Bloom squandered an opportunity with the current roster -- and now Boston is looking for his replacement.