Why did Tommy Kahnle join Yankees despite Red Sox offering a much bigger deal?

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Michael Bennington
Wednesday January 11, 2023

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The Boston Red Sox had offered Tommy Kahnle more money and a bigger deal. But he rejected their offer to join the New York Yankees, as he was hungry for a title. The 33-year-old revealed this during an interview with Chris Kirschner of The Athletic and confirmed that he turned Boston down and chose to play for the Yankees instead.

The 2022 season saw the Red Sox beaten badly with one of the worst bullpens in the league. This has forced Boston to try hard to put together a competitive team for the upcoming season. Boston signed deals with Joely Rodriguez, Chris Martin, and three-time All-Star Kenley Jansen to make the bullpen much better, but they almost reached an agreement with fireballer Tommy Kahnle.

However, Tommy Kahnle spurned them and signed a two-year, $11.5 million deal to come back to the Yankees. But at one point he was close to joining the Boston Red Sox. To keep him Boston even offered the 33-year-old more money, but only a big amount wasn’t enough. The veteran, who was drafted by the Yankees and played for them for three and a half seasons before joining the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021, chose the known quantity.

“Tommy Kahnle nearly signed with the Boston Red Sox this offseason,” according to Kirschner. “Boston offered Kahnle the biggest contract in free agency, but the middle reliever chose a two-year, $11.5 million offer to rejoin New York after spending four seasons with the Yankees from 2017-2020.”

“At one point they did, yes,” Tommy Kahnle told to Kirschner. “I was really close to going to Boston but in the end, I made the choice of the familiarity of knowing all of the coaches and knowing what role I would have going into this situation. It just felt more comfortable to me because I have been playing Major League Baseball for 12 years now. I think seven or eight of those have been with the Yankees organization so I felt more comfortable going into a situation I know. It just felt right. One of my big goals in my career is to win a World Series and to be a part of one.”

Tommy Kahnle also admitted that he was influenced by the fact that the Yankees would be real contenders for the World Series. The Red Sox finished last in the American League East last season.

“One of my big goals in my career is to win a World Series and be a part of one,” Kahnle said. “I left in a weird way and I want to come back and help this team and city get a World Series ring.”

This suggests that free agents no longer see Boston as a worthy place for their career graph or title hunger. The team, therefore, had to settle for older veterans and failed to attract top-tier talent.

What do you think about Tommy Kahnle’s comments? Leave your comment below.

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