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Dodgers Free Agency: LA Tried Bringing Back Kenley Jansen Before Lockout



Since 2012, the Dodgers have had a steady presence at the tail end of their bullpen. Kenley Jansen has held down the closer role for nearly a decade here in Los Angeles, but his future is unknown for the time being.

As a free agent this winter, Kenley can choose to leave the Dodgers for the highest bidder, something that seemed likely not too long ago. But there are plenty of reasons why the Dodgers should try to bring him back for another run, which were highlighted by Dodgers insider David Vassegh in a recent episode of Offseason Dodger Talk

“He had 38 saves this season. 38 saves and his numbers were the best – by far – in two years. Remember, last year he did have COVID at the beginning of the season, and people take that for granted now as well. Nobody seems to bring that up when they talk about the effects of COVID.”

As much as fans like to focus on his failed save opportunities last season, it’s important to realize just how dominant Jansen was following his rough patch. He ended the season with 17-straight saves and did not allow a single inherited runner to score from July 7th through the end of the season.

This is the Kenley that the Dodgers believe in, and it’s the reason that they reportedly worked to get a deal done before the lockout forced transactions to freeze.

“The Dodgers do want him back”, reported David Vassegh. “They were trying to work towards a deal before the lockout, but unfortunately that did not happen. But I certainly would not rule out Kenley Jansen returning to the Dodgers bullpen this season.”

Related: MLB Insider Confident Clayton Kershaw Will Remain in LA

The biggest reason that no deal has been agreed to yet? The number of years, according to Vassegh. This is likely Jansen’s last opportunity to make some real money in the majors, so you can’t blame him for not wanting to settle just yet. If David is to be believed, however, it’s only a matter of time before the long-time Dodger makes up his mind.

“My understanding is Kenley’s trying to get a three-year deal, and right now he’s only been able to find two-year offers. I feel like eventually he will find his way back home to the Dodgers because they want him back, he wants to be back, and it just makes that Dodger bullpen so much stronger with him and [Blake] Trienen at the back end.”

With only one big contract left for the veteran closer, expect Kenley to hold out as long as possible for the most he can get. Give us your thoughts, Dodgers nation. Do you want to see Kenley Jansen back in Dodger blue?

NEXT: Trevor Bauer Hints at Return to LA via Twitter

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26 Comments

  1. Yes but with the right terms. When the season ended, Kenley stated in interview he wanted to return but it was out of his hands. Well it appears it is not out of his hands so let’s see.

  2. Buyer beware! Picks up 5 mph at 30+ in his contract year?? Wonder how that happens. Guy’s a heart attack waiting to happen. Spend the $ on offense and SP. Gonna need more of both!

  3. I think that he appreciates the team for sticking by him during his tough periods. Even after blowing a game, they put him right back in the next save opportunity. He’s actually a better pitcher than he was in his prime, when his repertoire was limited. Treinen was great last year, but he also has his bad games and would blow just as many save opportunities as Jansen. Having both on hand makes the Dodgers much stronger. Given him his years and sign him.

  4. Jansen going to want elite “Closer” money seeing how this is most likely his last contract at his age! Dodgers aren’t going to resign him unless he gives a “ hometown” discount which is not going to happen! Look for him to sign with some bottom feeder who just wants to put butts in the seats! Ba-bye!

      • It’s going to be a huge year in Dodgers savings Paul. If the “Insiders” are right about our 34 mill pitcher not returning, Kenley-Sherz-Seager-Knebel-kelly possibly Kersh all off the books, they’ll have enough money to sign a Old washed up pitcher like Rich Hill….Repeat of the 2012 years ………….I’m hoping the Factor as you mention won’t hurt our chances of signing some comparable replacements for all of the losses. It looks like it will with Scherz announcing to all the big name players the inside truth about Barney Drrrrrr fife!!

  5. I honestly get nervous every time he gets called in to close a game. So if he comes back, fine. If he doesn’t, thank you for everything you’ve done for our Dodgers Kenley. Good luck elsewhere if that’s the case.

  6. jansen deserves to retire a dodger for life. just one year at a time though. clayton too. or maybe one year and a team option or a buyout for 5 million in case jansen regresses . 20 million for last season with 25 m guaranteed seems reasonable . and 35 m if he has another strong showing in 22. and he’ll just have to man up if he wants to keep pitching and earn it. if you give him 3 years hes gonna start coasting. i can tell just looking at him that the level of effort is going to drop if he gets a 3 year deal and maybe a 2 year deal. but hes been excellent really and any dropoffs he went through the last few years were directly attributable to roberts trying to bust his arm up in the 2016 postseason having him pitch multiple innings in relief. but jansens a big guy and he bounced back and redeveloped himself after i gave the dodgers ideas about pitchersv redev themselves and shared ideas about my hitting and pitching and timing on bunts and delayed steals and hiring better coaching and improving training while explaining that those costs are far smaller than player payroll. i even mentioned pitching mechanic schools and friedman probably got the idea to go to driveline after i mentioned it. i stayed on hitting for two years until i developed enough cutting edge ideas for LA to improve the hitting. i stayed on petersons hitting and he mustve listened because i could tell by his approach at the plate. and recently i finally made a breakthrough with LA and bellinger to get him to adopt a new style at the plate and they listened. again i could tell. bellinger was a tough nut to crack as he was really stubborn whereas roberts shares some of those characteristics as well. but bellinger wasnt going to have any of that until the situation turned hopeless AND i had to spur the dodgers on to get on top of cody and i told them how i wouldve nipped that problem in the bud from the get ‘basically. and after all that ive helped the dodgers out then ive gotta watch roberts throw it all down the drain because he doesnt think very clearly and after 6 seasons he didnt improve. he got way worse. i think bauers needed there to balance out daves looney tunes moves and keep roberts in check. and you know dave needs some fresh meat to blow out some pitchers arms too. and bauers perfect because he likes being overworked and i believe bauer should pay that woman 5 million for reinstatement and pay battered womens shelters 5 million and appear in some commercials all year speaking on behalf of those shelters. and it would be a good temporary move for 2022 because LA needs pitching and theyre losing too much equity having to pay him. then after the year theyd have time to develop the pitching staff and then pay trevor off and reiease him or he could turn his behavior around and he might help the dodgers win a title. i was also the main push for expanded playoffs and bringing the making the universal dh after i pointed out that the american league had an advantage offensively in the world series because of the dh. and theres more. the dodgers are a hard nut to crack im telling you. like a freight train speeding down the tracks out of control theyve got their blinders and rose colored glasses on oblivious to whats going on around them. and i have to bring my talent to the party and they act like im nothing.

  7. I’m, new to this site, so I apologize for the novice question:
    So who is Barney Fife, other than Andy’s chief detective and what does Drrrr refer to?
    As for KJ, he’s been a great Dodger but 3 yrs is too long and $30 myn over 2 yrs is as high as they should go.

  8. I think anyone who believes he’ll be back also believes in Santa Claus! Jansen will want elite “Closer money” which Dodgers won’t give to him! Dodgers are scaling back right now on money. Bauer will not ever pitch for Dodgers again but Dodgers will most likely have to eat his contract so the belt tightens and Jansen walks! Ba-bye Jansen, been nice knowing you!

  9. Jansens value as a pitcher drops big time if the new “extra innings” rules stay in effect. Jansen insist on having the closer role when it would make more sense to pitch him earlier as a setup man to avoid having him pitch with an opposing player starting off an inning with a runner on second base. If the signing was based on talent alone I would say “sign him”, but there is much more involved than just relying on the ability to pitch.

  10. Kenley has turned into an awesome, consistent pitcher even thru his heart surgeries and all, he still gave his best and kept his enthusiasm to become his best. Most players are rated by their last season, I don’t think anyone surpassed his saves! In fact I think he beat a few records, So Fck YES!

    Kenley Rocks!

    DodgerGirl