This past offseason was a whirlwind for Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. There was almost a deal between the team and the Cincinnati Reds for stud closer Aroldis Chapman, and it could have rubbed Jansen the wrong way. It appears that it did not, though.

On top of that, Jansen entered arbitration for the final year and will be a free agent after this upcoming 2016 season. Despite that, the team and Jansen, according to what was reported, have not had discussions about any type of multi-year contract extension during the offseason.


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From the Los Angeles Dodgers’ beat reporter for MLB.com, Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick):

First off, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the team is looking to replace Kenley Jansen in the offseason with someone that they perceive to be better. It’s not even like there are many closers who are even better than Jansen at this point anyways.

In his Dodgers career, Jansen has 142 career saves in 338 career games. He has a 2.28 ERA in 340.0 innings while striking out an astounding 528 batters and walking 108. His 14.0 strikeouts-per-nine rate is absolutely unbelievable.

Last season, Jansen racked up 36 saves while striking out 80 batters over 52.1 innings. He only walked 8 of the 200 total batters he faced, and he finished 2015 with a 2.41 ERA and 0.78 WHIP. Yeah, he’s good. And there are only a handful, if that, who are better.

That wasn’t all, though. Remember when the team tried to trade for Chapman? Well, it doesn’t bother Jansen:

That’s a real “big league” thing to say. There doesn’t seem to be any “bitter” feelings from Jansen’s end, and that’s absolutely great to hear. The 28-year old native of Curacao understands that baseball is a business, so why get upset about it?

If the Dodgers had indeed traded for Chapman like they attempted to, both Chapman and Jansen would have been free agents in the offseason. And that would have raised a little bit of an issue — perhaps. The interesting part of this is the “life after Zack” part.

Does that mean that the team would have looked into moving Chapman into the starting rotation, directly behind Clayton Kershaw? No one knows, and it doesn’t matter anymore since Chapman is now a member of the New York Yankees.

Either way, the Dodgers are thrilled with what they have in Jansen. As noted, Jansen is only 20 saves away from owning the franchise career saves mark. The team is hoping he stays on that monstrous roll he’s been on lately.

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About The Author

Justin Russo is a 30-year old sports enthusiast who dabbles in all forms of sports talk. Whether that talk revolves around the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, MLB, or other leagues, he has an opinion. He works as a writer for Warriors World, and was formerly a writer and editor for ClipsNation on the SB Nation network. He also is the Editor-in-chief for But The Game Is On: The Beat.

3 Responses

  1. AlwaysCompete

    I do not if this surprises me or just disappoints me. If there is a player that deserves to have discussions about an extension before the season starts, it would be Kenley.  He is arguably in the top three closers in the game, and has been consistently good for several years. Kimbrel and Chapman are the only others in the discussion now that Holland is out. Does he deserve Papelbon $$$…yes!!  He is 28 years old, who is averaging only 64.5 IP over the last three years.  His arm is not hanging off due to overuse.  Mariano had 44 saves at the age of 43.  Over that time, Jansen has 193.4 IP, 292 K, 45 BB, 108 saves, and 11 blown saves.  That’s an average of 13.5 K/9 and 6.5 K/BB.  Only 2 blown saves in 40 opportunities in 2015. 

    Are the Dodgers going to wait until after the  2018 season to begin discussions about buying Kershaw out of his opt year?  That strategy didn’t work too well with Greinke.  Jansen and Kershaw should start and finish their careers with LAD.

    Reply
  2. robert20156h

    AlwaysCompete Amen! I think that  you speak for all Dodger fans.

    Reply
  3. Tmaxster

    AlwaysCompete Yes I agree with you. And that deadly cutter is ageless as we saw with Rivera. When you see them pick up the Cuban Sierra and Montas I wonder if they are looking for the “next Jansen”. Or a bridge to Jansen. The Yankees did very well riding Rivera’s cutter I think the Dodgers should also. It is almost unhittable…
    Also he is very young with limited use as you stated and should be good for many more years. And he is a great clubhouse guy, good citizen very family oriented just a great Man to have represent the Dodgers. 
    So like you I am all in on Mr Jansen…

    Reply

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