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Dodgers: MLB Insider Says Kenley Jansen Not Likely To Take A Paycut

Could we see Kenleyfornia in another uniform?



The Dodgers have a lot of fan favorites who are now free agents. This offseason is going to be a tough one, most likely, for Dodger fans. One that is (shockingly) overlooked is Kenley Jansen. Kenley Jansen is the Dodgers franchise leader in saves, WHIP, K/9, H/9, FIP, and amazingly: games played. That last one may feel misleading because closers only pitch 1-2 innings, but it doesn’t matter. In terms of statistical leadership, Jansen is one of the greatest Dodgers in franchise history.

Where Does Jimbo Think Kenley Is Going?

Recently, Jim Bowden of The Athletic outlined where some of the Dodgers may end up and whether or not LA could keep them. Jansen’s future is murky.

“Jansen was one of the top three closers this year after reinventing himself by incorporating a curveball he learned from teammate Joe Kelly and tweaking his delivery. The results were impressive as Jansen saved 38 games and posted a 2.22 ERA in 69 appearances. He also struck out 14 batters in seven innings this postseason. His five-year, $80 million contract is up after this year, and he has no interest in taking a pay cut, nor should he. However, he’ll probably take a shorter-term deal, and I think the Dodgers will be able to re-sign him. Jansen loves being a Dodger.”

Glass 1/3 Empty

I’m an optimist at heart, but this quote feels contradictory to itself. Bowden is a smart guy and tends to have good insights but there’s something missing. A closer nearing his career’s final run, who had a renaissance season and is now a free agent doesn’t equal one who’s willing to take a pay cut. Jansen may love being a Dodger, but he’s just come off a few seasons where his effectiveness lessened. Having a dominant and resurgent 2021 season gives him the coverage he needs to write his own ticket. That ticket is sure to be pricey. The Dodgers front office should bring him back, but with all the other holes the Dodgers now have due to free agency, this feels murky at best.

Still, Bowden is right. Jansen loves being a Dodger.

Franchise Legacy

As mentioned above, Jansen holds a lot of Dodger franchise records. The Dodgers front office should consider paying Jansen near what he’s asking for or higher but on a shorter contract. Many Dodger fans aren’t supportive of a “Kershaw” or “Kobe” contract for franchise legends, but Jansen has proved his gas tank isn’t empty.

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Written by AJ Gonzalez

AJ is a lifelong Dodgers and Lakers fan who grew up in California. His whole family is also lifelong Dodgers fans. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, two kids, his guitars, and beagle Kobe.

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  1. Solution to the Payroll Problem:

    It has finally come time for this, unfortunately. The Dodgers should hold an auction for naming rights to Dodger Stadium. They should invite Amazon, American Express, Apple and Tesla to bid at the auction. The starting price should be $100 million/year for 10 years. An extra $100 million per year would solve the payroll problem.

    Jansen pitched 70 innings and was paid $20 million. That is $285 thousand per inning. That is probably the highest amount of pay per inning for anyone [excluding Bauer]. Kershaw was paid about $272,000 per inning. Both are worth resigning if you have an unlimited payroll. Buehler $35,000 per inning. Urias $39,000 per inning.

    • Cash is not the problem – The team could likely double their payroll and still turn a handsome profit. The problem is the luxury tax where: 1) repeat offenders lose draft picks and 2) teams that exceed the tax financially support their competition. In the first case, teams ensure their farm system goes in the toilet and the second case is a really stupid operating model. The luxury tax is designed to foster competition necessary for the sport’s survival by keeping rich teams from dominating by simply outspending everyone. This is what’s being negotiated right now for the new CBA.

    • Do you mean… Welcome to Amazon Dodger Stadium, or Welcome to Apple Dodger Stadium?? Please tell me this really is not what you are thinking???

      • JEEZ …..I PRAY NOT! Citi Bank Stadium..taken…Petco Park…taken..How about the” In N Out Dodgers Stadium” so traffic leaving the Stadium is not so horrendous? good point Beth! That would really SUCK!
        But what about KJ?…Are we all ready to watch the Hip Wiggler for how long? And to remain ‘The CLOSER’…when you have a more consistent Treinen, or a fastball like Graterol? If they sign Kenley, will his big fat EGO take a 5th or 6th inning spot if needed? Kelly is gone. Nobody who can scare off opposing hitters like the crazy guy JK.

    • $285K per inning….$500k per game…..not so bad. It’s more than all my friends make. I guess that reading these figures means that ALL my Friends hang out in Low Places……

  2. Jansen loves being a Dodger? Really. Even after being benched during the important WS innings last year and being booed by the home fans this year? I suspect he is more than ready to take the first good offer elsewhere.

  3. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. That money can be better allocated than to a declining reliever.

  4. Actually, signing Kenley makes sense. Like with Scherzer, offer a good contract with deferrals. That keeps Kenley in town for 3 more years and throws half the salary down to say ‘25,26’,’27. He had a really good year. ESPECIALLY after mid July. Treinan is still here for another 2 years. These 2 guys basically could lock down a game. Both guys are the same age. Do we take a risk on Graterol? He is the option if we let Kenley walk. Or Knebel? He missed half the year. We COULD. On both of them. And make Treinan the closer like others have said. But we took a calculated risk on letting Kike in particular go last winter and it cost us when we had our myriad of injuries. I was one who felt earlier in the year that letting Kenley walk may be a good option. Not so sure now.

  5. Go with Treinen and Graterol to close games. Vesia and Bickford for the bridge to the closers. Caleb Ferguson and Kahnle are coming back to the bullpen, correct?

  6. Kenley miraculously added about 5 mph this year after throwing 90-91 in ‘20. Never a fan of contract year guys who all of a sudden reinvent themselves just before they become free agents. Graterol could be the guy if he develops and refines his 100+ mph stuff. Not enough k’s and whiffs for a guy with that type of velo. Showed signs in the post season. Bye bye Kenley. Not worth the risk or the $ he’ll be asking. Not comfortable whatsoever with him anymore. Treinen and Kahnle both viable options as well.

  7. Expect Jansen to get an offer of three years at whatever the going rate for leverage inning relievers who primarily close games get. We should hope he takes it because he can still close games if the team provides an alternate go to guy so he doesn’t have to pitch back to back consistently. Other teams are not all that likely to outbid us because they know he’s pretty much an every other day guy who likes to enter the game with the bases empty and that he can’t hold runners.
    Same formula should apply to most of our free agents: offer them the upper end of what they are truly worth for a contract length consistent with not getting burned badly in the out years and see what happens. And, don’t get jerked around by guys like Boras. Guys who perform well, are healthy and aren’t being propped up by the team’s handling of them deserve to be paid..just watch the length of the deal wisely.

  8. Wasn’t too long ago many commenters were saying Jansen, Bellinger, Roberts must go. I’m of the opinion #35 deserves another chance, #74 is offered a year or two if he takes $ cut, and #30 is sent packing.

  9. Well if Jansen stays or leaves isn’t the most pressing off season issue in this off season. The BP should be ok one way or another. The REAL needs are in starting pitching to address, the bench because that hurt in many ways in 2021. Also the need to compete better against LHP One only has to look at game 6 of the NLCS to understand that

  10. $282,000 per inning and KJ snibbles when he gets boooed? How thin skinned can one be? Let the big guy go…..and become King of that pretty little Carribean Island.

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