While the Boston Red Sox struggled as a whole in 2023, their bullpen produced throughout the season with legitimate production from several arms. The numbers as a whole declined in the second half of the season as a result of overuse when the Red Sox could not get consistent innings from the starting rotation.

As spring training gets underway for the 2024 season, the bullpen may just be the strength of the team once again. When the Red Sox enter the later innings with a lead, Boston has premier relievers to close out games.

We already checked out what the Red Sox could feature for an Opening Day starting rotation. Who will be in the bullpen to follow those starters?

Here’s a closer look at the likely Red Sox bullpen on Opening Day, barring any final offseason transactions:

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RHP Kenley Jansen
Entering spring training, the Red Sox have an All-Star ready to roll in the ninth inning last season.

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After signing a two-year deal with Boston last offseason, Jansen showed that he had gas left in the tank after spending the duration of his career as one of the sport’s best closers.

As Boston’s lone All-Star in 2023, Jansen nailed down 29 saves, including the No. 400 of his career, with a 3.63 ERA in 51 appearances. Barring any changes in the coming weeks, the Red Sox enter 2024 with one of the best closers of his generation as Jansen takes the mound again.

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RHP Chris Martin
Age clearly has meant nothing to Chris Martin, who received a Cy Young vote in 2023 after a truly dominant season as arguably the best setup man in the league.

In his age-37 season, Martin went 4-1 with a microscopic 1.05 ERA in 55 appearances. The veteran right-hander walked just eight of the 199 batters he faced and did not allow an earned run in the months of May, August and September. Mostly working the eighth inning, Martin was virtually flawless in Alex Cora’s set of relievers.

Martin and Jansen create a 1-2 punch at the back end of the bullpen that few teams in baseball can match, giving the Red Sox further incentive to grab late leads to turn over to their veteran tandem.

RHP Josh Winckowski
In a theoretical “Most Improved Player” award for the Red Sox in 2023, Winckowski arguably had the best campaign in that regard.

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The right-hander mostly worked as a starter in Boston’s organization after coming over in a deal for Andrew Benintendi. In 2023, the Red Sox moved Winckowski to the bullpen, where he consistently got more than three outs and set the table for Martin and Jansen.

The move more than paid off for the 25-year-old, who posted a 2.88 ERA in a team-high 60 appearances.

While Winckowski is set to compete for a rotation spot in camp, he likely returns to the role that reshaped his potential for the Red Sox a season ago.

RHP Garrett Whitlock
Like Winckowski, Whitlock will also compete for a rotation spot after stretching out as a starter in the offseason. After two attempted runs in as many years in the rotation, Whitlock will likely reprise the role he dominated in for the Red Sox in 2021, his first after coming over from the New York Yankees.

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That season, Whitlock tallied a 1.96 ERA in 73 1/3 innings as the ultimate weapon in relief for the Red Sox. Injuries and changing roles have kept Whitlock down over the last two seasons. In his Boston career, Whitlock’s ERA is over two runs better in relief than as a starter (2.65 ERA vs. 4.76 ERA).

With stuff that plays out of the bullpen, this stability could reinvigorate the Boston right-hander.

RHP John Schreiber
Schreiber burst onto the scene in 2022 with the Red Sox, recording a 2.22 ERA. He struggled to find his form again consistently after battling injuries, though he managed to pitch in 46 games.

2024 gives Schreiber a chance to get back on track as a primary middle reliever for the Red Sox with a quality breaking ball leads his arsenal.

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RHP Justin Slaten
Slaten came to the Red Sox in an offseason deal with the New York Mets and looks to compete for a bullpen spot in spring training.

Slaten was terrific in the Texas Rangers system in 2023, striking out 13 batters per nine innings with a 2.87 ERA in 40 appearances between Double-A and Triple-A. If he makes the team out of camp, the Red Sox could benefit from his upside in 2024.

LHP Brennan Bernardino
Bernardino was a pleasant surprise for the Red Sox last season as the club’s primary left-handed reliever. The lefty will likely fill that same role for the Red Sox in 2024.

Bernardino posted a 3.20 ERA in 55 games, including striking out 14 batters in nine innings across his six starts as an opener for Boston.

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LHP Chris Murphy
During the summer months, Murphy got the call to the show and found success giving multiple innings in the middle of games. Murphy’s bullpen responsibilities would likely be as a long-reliever once again.

His 2023 numbers were slightly inflated after two bad outings against the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers in August. If nothing else, Murphy can bridge innings for the Red Sox again in 2024.

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images