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Dodgers: Kenley Jansen Enters the Offseason Without Any Clear Future in Los Angeles



The Dodgers enter this offseason with perhaps more uncertainty than ever before. With so many guys set to hit the free-agent market, there is no telling what direction the team will go. It also seems more than likely that there will be key guys moving on from the team in 2022. 

Kenley Jansen is one of those guys that might not be back with the Dodgers next year. And if he did just throw his last pitch with Los Angeles, what a way to go out. Kenley finished the year by absolutely dominating across 8 postseason appearances, striking out 14 across 7 innings. 

He also wrapped up his year with a very solid final 2 months of the regular season. After the loss to the Braves in Game 6, Kenley was asked about his future with the Dodgers. He sounded just as unsure about a return as any of us on social media. 

It’s not in my hands. I gotta thank God for the great opportunity I had here as a Dodger. I’m thankful to be here for all these years. This is the only team I know. They believed in me when I was 17 years old as a catcher. And then they made me a pitcher and believed in me as a pitcher. And here I am now. It happened fast. I enjoyed this journey. And I’ll always say, whatever happens, I’ll always be a Dodger.

It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions for Dodgers fans with Kenley since the 2017 World Series. He’s had good years and bad years, getting booed off of the mound at Chavez Ravine and fans going while for him coming into the game late this season. 

This postseason, he’s been as good as I’ve ever seen him, and he’s been dominant in the past. He’s been huge for us. -Clayton Kershaw

But one thing is for certain: Kenley is the greatest Dodgers closer of all time. He would finish his time in LA with 350 saves, more than twice as many as Eric Gagne who comes in at number 2 on the franchise record list. 

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With his up and down couple of years, it’s tough to say what sort of contract Kenley will earn in free agency. He signed a 4-year deal worth $80 million for 5 years in February of 2017. There’s not telling how much he will earn, but it seems reasonable to assume the Dodgers will be priced out. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. The Dodgers and their fans made it clear this year to Jansen that his future is elsewhere. But he made it clear that he can still get the job done. Someone will bite at two years for $35M. Just not the Dodgers.

  2. I for one would think it would be a mistake to let him leave. He has shown he can still deliver in the big moment.

  3. While we are discussing Kenley Jansen, what about the the K and S guys who are currently making over fifty million with iffy arms for next year. Jansen ended the year strong while the two aces had arm problems. Are we bringing them back along with TB?

  4. If 2021 didn’t teach us anything else, it taught us the undeniable value of a strong bullpen! Bring most back. I’d pass on Nelson, have plenty better IMHO.

  5. I would bring Jansen back before I would bring Kershaw back. 21st century baseball has severely diminished the value of a starter and increased the value of a good relief pitcher IMHO

  6. Sherzer is worth the cash but it’s time to pass on Jansen we are priced out and he can still do a lot for some other team. I’d like to see Trea get his big deal and unfortunately the Dodgers as much as it hurts cannot afford to resign Seager. It is what it is. A healthy team even without Seager is a favorite to win it all.

  7. Jansen is arguably only the best closer in baseball. Geez. Give me the names of better closers. Hader? Served up a gopher ball to Freeman, Brewers at home for the rest of the playoffs. Doval? Belli sent the Giants home. Reyes? CT3 sent the Cards home. Ok I’ll wait.

  8. Kimbrel? Let go by the Red Sox following WS 2018. Signs with Cubs, traded cross town to the pale hose? Hendriks, ok All-Star 2021 fair enough. Couldn’t help his team beat the cheaters though.

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