The Red Sox may have found their bullpen help. According to SI's Jon Heyman and ESPN's Buster Olney, Boston is on the "verge of a deal" with Bobby Jenks. The reported two-year, $12 million deal is pending a physical.
Jenks has spent all six seasons of his career with the Chicago White Sox, serving as their closer since the 2006 season. The 29-year old recorded 27 saves in 2010, with a 4.44 ERA, his highest as a pro.
For Boston, it gives them another arm in their bullpen, something they've been focused on for a few weeks now (even with the signings of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, and to a much lesser extent, Lenny DiNardo and Matt Albers). Options were getting slim, however, and rumors had the Red Sox eying Dan Wheeler and Brian Fuentes, a lefty. As recently as early Thursday morning, reports had Jenks close to signing with the Tampa Bay Rays, so consider it another win for Theo and co.
While he's not a lefthanded reliever, Jenks' splits make him a solid acquisition: for his career, righties hit .241 against him, while lefties have managed just .231 (with a slightly lower OPS, .617 compared to .661).
The move now gives the Red Sox three hard throwing right-handers in their bullpen, along with Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard. Whether this is insurance for Papelebon or the precursor to a deal to ship him out of town is not yet known.