Nearly one month after agreeing to terms, the Los Angeles Dodgers made their re-signing of closer Kenley Jansen to a five-year contract official. Jansen’s deal is worth a reported $80 million and includes an opt-out clause after the 2019 season, when he’ll be 29 years old.
That’s the same offseason Aroldis Chapman, who inked a five-year, $86 million deal with New York Yankees, can also opt out. Chapman’s contract is the richest ever given to a reliever in MLB history, while Jansen’s is second-highest.
Jansen’s contract represents the largest Andrew Friedman has doled out as Dodgers president of baseball operations. Brandon McCarthy ($48 million over four years) and Scott Kazmir (three-year contract) previously shared the honor.
Although Jansen had not shied away from his willingness to sign with whichever club was the highest bidder, the 29-year-old rejected a more lucrative offer from the Washington Nationals to re-sign with the Dodgers.
Jansen is coming off an All-Star season in which he converted 47 saves with a 1.83 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. During the process he broke the Dodgers franchise record for most saves all-time, finished tied for second in the Majors in saves, and led qualified National League closers in WHIP and strikeouts (104).
As the profile and importance of closers rose in the playoffs, Jansen did his part to go above and beyond. The power righty held opponents scoreless in six of seven appearances, and threw a then-career-high 51 pitches and 2.1 innings in Game 5 of the NL Division Series against the Nationals.
Jansen then exceeded that workload by throwing three shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.
Since becoming a full-time closer in 2014, Jansen has 127 saves with a 2.32 ERA, 1.80 FIP, 0.86 WHIP and averaged 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
Micah Johnson was designated for assignment to clear room for Jansen on the 40-man roster.