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Dodgers: Kenley Jansen Will Not Opt Out of Contract

Jansen’s decision was easy.

Kenley Jansen celebrates a save at Dodger Stadium.

We finally know the answer. As Kenley Jansen seems to be in full decline and is owed a large sum of money still, some fans were hoping that Jansen would opt out of his remaining deal. That will not be so. According to Jon Heyman, closer Kenley Jansen will in fact opt in to his remaining 2-year, $38 million deal.

This is what we all expected considering the large dollar amount remaining on the deal. Jansen has done a ton for the Dodgers organization in his career, but he has declined a bit. Jansen had not posted a Deserved Run Average (DRA) above 2.00 from 2014 to 2017, but in 2018, he posted a 2.56 DRA and in 2019, a 3.51 DRA. His advanced statistics still look really good as he continues to limit hard contact. However, to the naked eye, Jansen is regressing as his cutter continues to cut less and his velocity continues to decline.

Jansen will be in a Dodgers uniform through the 2021 season and be a free agent in the winter of 2022. By then, he most likely will no longer be closer material and could be replaced. All things considered, that could even happen over the next two seasons.

Regardless of Jansen’s presence on the roster, expect the front office to seek out upgrades in the bullpen. The Dodgers were linked to big names as usual over the trade deadline, but with Jansen in decline, this is the offseason where they need to pounce on the market.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

9 Comments

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  1. Any realistic person knew there was no way Kenley was opting out he is owed to much with the season he had there is no way he could match that on the open market all we can hope for is he bounces back, he was already working the day after the season was over, he is well aware of the issues he had this year, this is the problem trying to convert a position player in to a pitcher, he has been good for a decent amount of time and converting him in to a pitcher never allowed him to really develop additional pitches..imo.

  2. Once you lose your velo it’s on the way out. Kenley barely ticks 93. Can’t get guys out without power. His slider is elementary and needs years of work. The cutter is too slow. Maybe he can fool a few batters but hope he doesn’t go bad attitude if the Dodgers get a new closer.

    • I say simply release him & eat the contract. He’s a huge liability on the mound and just isn’t very smart. Stuborn & dumb like a mule is Jansen.
      They have many better guys in the minors they could & should call up for a fraction of the money.
      But of course one now truly wonders if a WS ring is even possible with the awful Dave Roberts managing.
      So much talent, but such bad decisions. That’s the Dodgers.

  3. I’m sure management will tell us that Jansen will spend the winter “reinventing” himself, ala Kershaw, and everything will be fine in 2020.

    At least they fired Honeycutt and that’s a plus. Anyone notice how quickly the Nationals pitching coach spotted that Strasburg was tipping his pitches in game #6? He corrected it and shut the Astros out for the rest of the game. Where was Honeycutt in game #7 two years ago?

    • Agree that his closer stuff is gone but is his ability reliable as a reliever since the 3 batter rule kicks in this coming season. You can’t use him as a one batter specialists either. Bigger changes in thinking seem to be forgotten when it comes to the bullpen.

  4. I hope Kenley enjoys the D.L. from bad contracts in the past like Jimmy Rollins, Brian Wilson etc. He can just milk the season and get his money. He knows his stuff is no good, so he pitches around everyone, which leads to walks. Then, Roberts leaves him in to get whacked. Maybe Roberts will reinvent himself and take Kenley out after he walks the leadoff batter and the next guy singles. Doubt it, that’s what we’ve been watching now for almost 2 years..

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