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Dodgers Rumor: Kenley Jansen Extension Was An ‘Ownership Call’

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 31: Kenley Jansen #74 of the Los Angeles Dodgers enters the game during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros in game six of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Henry Schulman covers the San Francisco Giants. However, recently Schulman had a scoop pertaining to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It was two years ago that the Dodgers signed closer Kenley Jansen to a new 5-year, $80 million dollar contract. This would come to be the largest contract given during the Farhan Zaidi reign with Los Angeles. Now, Schulman says that he hears this was not in the favor of the Dodgers’ front office at the time. Rather, it was an ‘ownership call’.

Schulman went on to point out in the tweet that the price paid for Jansen was an interesting figure. Equally important, he points out that the analytics devalues the save as a whole, and that part is true. So when something breaks that reports the Dodgers’ ownership group over-ruling the front office minds, it is an interesting story.

Jansen had one of his best seasons ever in 2017. Then in 2018, he struggled with some health issues and over-use from the 2017 World Series.

With three years left on his current deal – it will be interesting to see if he can come close to earning the $18M annually he is paid on his contract.

Equally important is the question of why did ownership feel the need to retain Jansen at all costs? One could speculate they see him as a cornerstone of the franchise or significant drawing card that puts fans in the seats. Do you feel like either of these statements are true? Why would the ownership group elect to over-rule Zaidi and Andrew Friedman on something like this?

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

9 Comments

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  1. What does it matter what any fan thinks or writes, especially if Freidman and whoever now are going to be overruled, which was a good move in the case of Kenley Jansen.

    Does anyone object to the fact that Greinke, who sold himself to the highest bidder, was offered $150 million for five years by LA, and Kershaw, the face of the franchise and greatest pitcher of his era, got only three years for $31 each?

    • Why would anyone believe an “unnamed source?” And it doesn’t say that Friedman and FO were over-ruled; for that type of contract Friedman may have gone to Kasten and Walter for final approval of a deal he recommended. Kershaw? $31MM guaranteed PLUS $1MM for 24 starts, another $1MM for 26th start, another $1MM for 28th start, and a $1MM for 30+ starts. And, $1.5MM for each CY award; or $500K for each time he finishes 2nd or 3rd in CY award. He hit all targets (CY 3 consecutive years is not likely) then his deal pays $38MM per season.

  2. Off topic a bit but I found this question and answer pretty relevant from the Ken Gurnick fan’s questions page:
    I have referred to the Dodgers in my thoughts as “the great experiment” for the last couple of years — build a roster of very good players and have them put on the face that it is OK to sit a lot of games because of sabermetric matchups. That can work in the regular season, but it seems to be a failure in the playoffs. On the surface, it seems L.A. lost the World Series because L.A. didn’t hit, but I think the season philosophy of sitting players was the major contributor to the problem. Except for players who are totally into amounts of money paid as opposed to their legacy, why would a superstar in their prime sign with the Dodgers?
    — Steve Perry, Concord, N.C.

    Not sure analytics can quantify whether platooning during the regular season reduces a player’s performance in the postseason, when the competition level is greatly elevated. Rare is the player who isn’t looking for the most money. But it’s also a rare player who gladly accepts sitting on the bench. Any player joining the Dodgers should expect to be subject to matchups and platooning and factor that into contract decisions. But maybe ownership should intervene a bit more as a result of 2 consecutive WS losses.

  3. I live in Maine – I’m supposed to be a Red Sox fan – I’m 80 yrs old – I’ve followed baseball for about 70 yrs – I love Kenley Jansen- Other than being the most exciting closer in baseball he is a wonderful human being – In all respects –

  4. This has Stan Kasten written all over it.
    Just look at the Braves under Kasten… 16 division titles, 3 World Series appearances, 1 World Series win. Teams built for season, not to win in the post season.

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