The Red Sox have received trade interest in left fielder Masataka Yoshida, report Jen McCaffrey and Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. McCaffrey and Rosenthal write that while the Sox aren’t actively shopping Yoshida, they’re open to ways to restructure the outfield.

That aligns with a report from Alex Speier of the Boston Globe last week the Sox were considering dealing an outfielder. The Sox would have more suitors if they shopped an affordable, controllable player like Jarren DuranCeddanne Rafaela or Wilyer Abreu. Finding a suitable match on Yoshida would be more difficult, but it’s a possibility that’d clear some desired spending room.

Another move that’d allow the Sox to shed some money: a trade of closer Kenley Jansen. Speier reported this evening that Boston is entertaining interest in the four-time All-Star. Yoshida and Jansen were each free agent pickups last offseason.

Boston signed Yoshida to a five-year, $90MM contract. (They also paid a $15.375MM posting fee to Yoshida’s former team, the Orix Buffaloes.) It was a bet on the left-handed hitter transitioning smoothly to MLB pitching. The 30-year-old had mixed results in his first big league campaign. Yoshida hit .289/.338/.445 over 580 plate appearances. He showed strong strike zone awareness and excellent pure contact skills, yet it wasn’t an overwhelming offensive performance.

Yoshida hit 15 home runs and walked less than 6% of the time he stepped to the plate. Listed at 5’8″ and 176 pounds, he doesn’t have the raw power of a prototypical slugger. Yet the profile is built around his bat, as Yoshida has drawn below-average reviews for his glove dating back to his time in Japan. He’s limited to left field or designated hitter and received subpar grades from Defensive Runs Saved and Outs Above Average.

Detractors pointed to those defensive and power questions when Yoshida was available via the posting system last winter. The Sox, under former chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, were confident he’d hit enough to overcome that. With Bloom having since been replaced by Craig Breslow, the front office might be less bullish on his projection.

Yoshida’s contract calls for $18MM salaries for the next four seasons. It’s unlikely he’d have landed a $72MM deal covering his age 30-33 campaigns if he were a free agent this winter. As a result, Boston would probably have to offset a chunk of the money to move him — either by including cash considerations or taking some money back in the deal.

Jansen would be a much different trade candidate. His $16MM salary next season isn’t far below what Yoshida will make. He’d be a much shorter-term commitment, though, as he’ll be a free agent after 2024. Jansen had a solid but not overpowering first season with the Sox, pitching to a 3.63 ERA over 44 2/3 innings. He struck out 27.7% of opponents, an above-average mark that nevertheless represented the lowest rate of his career. He still successfully nailed down 29 of 33 save chances, but he wasn’t quite as dominant as he’d been for the Dodgers or Braves.

Boston has a fair amount of depth in both the outfield and the bullpen. That at least opens the possibility of offloading cash in those areas to clear space for other targets. Speier wrote tonight the front office is still seeking starting pitching and a right-handed power bat.

The Sox have been tied to free agent Teoscar Hernández throughout the offseason. Meanwhile, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that Boston is also among the team showing interest in Jorge Soler. Either player would provide plenty of juice from the right side. A Yoshida trade would open a path to playing time in left field or DH. However, Speier indicates the Red Sox have been unwilling to offer more than two guaranteed years to Hernández, who is holding out for a three-plus year pact. It’s unclear if they’d be open to a third year on Soler.

In any case, there are obviously a number of possibilities the front office is still considering. The Sox have also been tied to a number of free agent rotation options, including Blake SnellJordan Montgomery and Shota Imanaga. Recent reporting has indicated that Imanaga appears a more realistic target than Snell or Montgomery, although the NPB left-hander could top $100MM himself. Speier characterizes the Red Sox as “lurking” on Imanaga but indicates they may not be among the most involved suitors. The southpaw will make his decision before the posting window closes next Thursday.

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