When you look at Baseball-Reference, the player most similar to Kenley Jansen is Craig Kimbrel. So the Dodgers went out and traded AJ Pollock for a guy that they basically already had. Funny enough, they will also be paying him exactly what Jansen is set to make with the Braves in 2022.
So why did they make the trade rather than signing Kenley?
There are a number of reasons that the Dodgers could have gone this route, something that Andrew Friedman will surely explain soon. But the fact is that Kenley did not want to wait around to see what Los Angeles would do, and who could blame him?
The Dodgers reportedly told Kenley that they wanted to free up some payroll before offering him a contract. That came after they landed Freddie Freeman in a deal via free agency. But instead, Kenley went on to sign with the Braves for the same amount of money as Kimbrel’s contract pays for 2022.
But the Dodgers still needed to clear payroll, and trading Pollock was likely always on the table. He makes just enough to justify the move, and they seem like they wanted to clear a spot in the outfield for guys. It just made sense. So while the addition did come at the expense of a solid outfielder and bat, Kimbrel is huge for Los Angeles.
It might have been the best move for the Dodgers, especially since Jansen wasn’t about to wait around for them and not get to work.
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