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Dodgers: Insider Sees Kenley Jansen Parting Ways With Los Angeles

For years, Kenley Jansen has been the guy the Dodgers have turned to in the 9th inning. He’s spent his whole career so far with Los Angeles and has become their All-Time saves leader, surpassed 1,000 strikeouts, and won a World Series.

There’s no doubt he will go down as the team’s best closer in franchise history, despite some bumps in the road the past couple of seasons. However, there is doubt surrounding his future with the team moving forward as he’s set to hit free agency once again. 

Dodger beat writer Bill Plunkett of the OC Register recently joined Hight Heat with Chris Russo and Alanna Rizzo and mentioned how he doesn’t see Kenley returning to the Dodgers. 

“I think Jansen is mentally ready to go somewhere else. I think the experience last postseason where Julio Urías closed out important games and Kenley had to watch from the bullpen, I think that sticks with him and his pride. I think we would take an offer and go somewhere else.”

It was obvious that Jansen didn’t like having to witness a World Series victory from the bullpen instead of the mound. He also experienced a shift in how fans greeted him during an outing at one point this season. 

Presumably, Jansen will be looking for another multi-year deal which will surely make the Dodgers balk at such a move considering he will turn 35 next season. They have plenty of other arms such as Blake Treinen and Brusdar Graterol who could take over. It won’t be the end of the world if Jansen does decide to leave, but it will surely mean the end of an era. 

If it is the end, Jansen will have finished his time in Dodger Blue with a 37-26 record, a 2.37 ERA, 350 saves, and 1022 strikeouts in 701 games.

NEXT: Andrew Friedman Offers No Change on Whether Trevor Bauer Pitches for LA in 2022

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78 Comments

    • Uncalled for remark. Kenley proved as the season drew to a close that his tank is certainly not empty. The Dodgers and he should be able to come to an agreement on money and his role which should rightfully be expected to be somewhat different. This man can still close at a pretty high level. I have always been in his corner and will continue to be there. There comes a time in every high level closer’s career where he must realize his role is evolving and I think Kenly will accept that he will not be a full time closer, but still have his opportunities to close. Would make one heck of a set up man. The Dodger bullpen should be a big plus going forward and I fully expect Kenley to be a part of it.

  1. Only reporting from one perspective? How about this one. Kenley would like to stay with the Dodgers and they would like to have him back! They could both get what they want if he agrees to an incentive contract that has options for him after one year and for the team after 2 yrs.

    Of course a conversation would have to take place about how he would be used. Not exclusively in the 9th inning.

  2. The ideal closer shouldn’t be throwing 20+ pitches unless he’s struggling and Kenley was in this pitch range far too often. How many times did he allow multiple hits, walks, and create the nail-biting scenario? He can still pitch, but a reliable closer he isn’t anymore, and another year older makes him lesser still. Keep Kenley as a reliever first and foremost and as a backup closer when the situation dictates, but the money has to be very team-friendly.

    • Agree Taryn, Kenley was great against the bottom order in the line ups.Drrrrrrr used Kelly and Trienen against the top and middle of the order as much as he could trying to protect Kenley knowing this. Just like in game 1 or 2 against the Braves, Kenley comes in and allows a Walk off hit. Something people seem to forget happened….

      • First thing is that Plunkett is just a downer full of gloom and doom. Nobody yet knows what KJ might be thinking or end up doing. If KJ wants to re- sign here he cannot thus dictate that he must be the only closer used all the time. But the credibility of this ‘insider’s is a bit suspect.

        • I’m not sure how you have made the connection between what I said and Pauldodgersfan1965 agreed with and the words spoken by the quoted writer Plunkett. I obviously made no mention about Kenleys’ mindset but directly and only toward his performance and that which many seem to ignore as mentioned by Pauldodgerfan1965.

  3. Not sure if folks read my initial takeaways from AF’s media day BEFORE any of these “Authors” put out their “stories”

    I had stated as one of the takeaways was I wasn’t expecting Kenley to be back. I think this is a grave mid-calculation on the Dodgers’ part of you ask me. He showed down the stretch AND in the postseason that he still had the ability to get out ANY PART OF THE LINEUP! He has morphed himself from a thrower into a pitcher. Tayrn states there were too many nail-biting instances. To you I say while this much is true during his 3 game hiccup following the all-star break and perhaps a couple of other lone instances thereafter. It, however, most certainly can not be said of his performance the last couple of months and the postseason. He had clearly turned the corner.

    If he goes, unless he leaves the NL West…he will come back to haunt the Dodgers IMHO.

    Just this reporters opinion. And what I’ve read so far the usual suspects agree and the others don’t. You know who you are respectively.

    • I cannot deny that KJ had his moments of success and looking close to his dominant way of yesteryear, but a closer shouldn’t create the hand-wringing derived from angst when taking the mound which KJ infused into the crowd more often than not, or at least, enough to rattle the confidence in him going forward, and with a sizeable payday that he would want though many are hoping he doesn’t. The door is open and only KJ will close it because of money. My opinion is this team needs to move on from some of its players that are obviously aged and now more likely to be hurt more than they play.

      • Taryn, try explaining Will Smith then. I mean the Atlanta Braves closer, not “Opie” lol. Someone referred to Dodgers Will Smith as reminding him of tv’s Opie Taylor of the Andy Griffith show for us “old timers.”

        I’d have a heart attack every time Will Smith took the mound if I were a Braves fan. Just sayin

        • There are fans of teams that cannot help but accept what they know can only be, and the Dodgers are not one of them and the Dodger fans shouldn’t be subjected to such.

          The Dodgers won 106 games, but did they really win in a manner that had the fans feeling truly confident in the play, pitching, hitting? The honest answer would be NO. If SD didn’t suffer a total collapse would the Dodgers have made the wildcard slot? Again the honest answer would be NO. Whether it was more about Roberts or the players will be argued but regardless of the winner of that argument, there are a few players/pitchers that simply need to be moved on from. This team needs an infusion of youth not aged, oft-injured or hoped-for rebound.

          • Taryn, my view is try to field the best team possible given any financial constraints. I could care less how old or young, what racial background they are, or any determining factors other than performance! Considerations for team construction should include team chemistry. I try my best to remain personality neutral. If it’s time to say goodbye (because it’s the best for the team) to my favorite Dodger? I wish them the best of luck.

  4. Kenley pitched great in 2021, after the all-star break. My guess is, that he will get a big payday with another club. That being said, he has had a great career and most likely will be a HOF’er.

  5. Kenley lost the control he had years back…he’s too erratic with bases on balls, HR pitches and no clue how to hold runners. He was a valuable Dodger, but he’s lost his mojo!! Good luck Kenley!!!

  6. Ya the hip twitching looks funny, but so what. It’s not a flipping beauty contest.

    Kenley’s one weakness is that he can’t hold runners on.

    Anyone watch the play-offs? Neither can most pitchers! Base stealing went from practically nothing in the regular season to everyone stealing! With rarely anyone thrown out!

  7. I think that we can all thank Kenley for what he gave to the Dodgers. He ended his season on a good note to remember him by, the 3 KOs, but IMO is performances became too erratic after the heart aneurysm and subsequent surgery. He is a fighter and came back but no one ever knew which Kenley would take the mound. This guy put my anxiety level to the max during the WS and the playoffs last year, the year before also and a few times this year. DR stuck with him like he stuck with Bellringer. Both seemed to turn around but still neither were solid. Hopefully Belli will come to spring training prepared to hit and try to emulate last year when he knocked it out of the park…what? 47 times?
    Kenley…unless he is prepared to turn down the level a notch on his big ego, and maybe take a role in the 6th or 7th, and not so much $ unless he does the incentive thing like Maeda…ok…sign him for 1 year. But the Giants will pay him more and he will be happy up there w/ a few other ex-Dodgers. Good. Love to see Muncy put it in the Bay against KJ. And jeez….the hip wiggle was just too strange…adios KJ and good luck!

    • Better to leave on a High note. He hasn’t been the same since the Heart Issue. Now he freaks out with a runner on 2nd. Though he manage to salvage his season, he is on the downside. Thanks but farewell.

  8. Yes, the Dodger offseason tradition of getting rid of every pitcher they can find in the system will continue. Because, hey, we’ve got Trevor Bauer and Clayton Kershaw and Dustin May. That’s all the pitchers we’ll need this year.

  9. This off-season will tell us just how serious Ownership is about keeping the juggernaut going.

    It remains to be seen how two important factors will shape what they will be able to accomplish:

    1) MLB assistance in possible relief for the ill-advised signing of narcissistic pitcher.
    2) Just what financial restraints might come out of the new CBA.

    It’s very possible that there will be a lower threshold of the Luxury tax. Also perhaps a higher minimum payroll affecting small market teams as well. They are trying to discourage purposely tanking to gain higher draft picks. WSS

  10. Even with KJ’s early season struggles, he still ended up posting some of the best stats of any closer in the National League. Total saves, Save opportunity %, batting average against, all excellent.

  11. D4, I ask myself the same question about you being a Dodgers fan especially when you come on our site and Fawn over how good the Braves are. Their pitching blah blah blah. Who gives a flying yack about the Braves? Especially being in the World Series when we had a far better group of talent. It’s a shame we didn’t have the direction and know how to be in the series. F the Braves and the Astro’s both…..

      • Yeah Paul, I really don’t root for any other team in baseball. Sometimes when a good Dodger leaves and plays where they build a winner around him I do Like Piazza.. I agree it would be nice to see the Braves stick it to the MLB and manfred for being a bunch of Hate Anti American race baiters. But really I say F- the Braves. We would be in the series had we had a better manager….

        • Kirk, I guess you misinterpreted my cheering for the Braves…it only stems as an anti-cheering for the disgusting Cheaters! If you’ve read a number of my posts you know where I stand on that issue. I’m p!ssed off as all get out Dodgers lost to the stupid Braves. I wanted soooo badly to have a chance to right the biggest travesty in baseball history! The UNPUNISHED CHEATERS! Unfortunately the baseball gods were unkind and didn’t seek justice to be served.

          I’ve said this a number of times, I really respect your opinions about the game given your history coming from the side of it in which I have no experience (manager). My experience is only from a player side. These do make for different observations. And IMO knowledge can be gained from alternative views. I thank you for your posts whether I agree with them or not.

          • It’s hard to answer any question you present. You never seem to just accept the way things are. Kind of like how you continue to maintain that the FO and friedman run the team and decide all of the line ups and in game managing. Either you say Friedman is Full of sheet and you believe he makes all of the bone head stupid decisions that Drrrrrrrrrrr just accepts, or you accept the truth of what he explained a few days ago regarding that very topic. So which is it? And if you agree that Drrrrrrrr actually does make the calls, then why in the he!! are you so in love with his Little League approach to manage a MLB Baesball team? You answer that, and I’ll tell you who I think is the greatest manager…

          • Sure go ahead and take my comments out of context all you want. You gunna read into them whatever you want anyway. You have a personal agenda for some strange reason which I can’t alter. IIWII