The free agency process for Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner should begin to gain some steam as both formally rejected the one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offers from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This offseason marks the first time in his career that Jansen is a free agent. It’s the second such instance for Turner, though the first was because the New York Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season.
Turner has since transformed himself into a Gold-Glove caliber third baseman with a strong bat who is expected to have multiple suitors this winter.
“Both guys have been a big part of our past success and we hope they’re be a big part of our future success,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Friedman said during an appearance on MLB Network’s “High Heat” on Monday.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for both of them. They put themselves in position to go out and test the free agent market, so we’re trying to be respectful of that and allow them to do that. They have earned that right.”
Friedman reiterated the club has Jansen and Turner as priorities this offseason. Granted, that’s not to suggest the Dodgers are without contingency plans.
“We have alternatives and have kind of thought through the market, trade-wise and free agent-wise,” Friedman said.
The club reportedly has interest in Aroldis Chapman, and Mark Melancon may be a fallback option as the Dodgers were said to have discussed a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the right-hander prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline.
What’s more, the Dodgers and Chicago White Sox reportedly are discussing a trade that involves Todd Frazier and Chris Sale.
As much as the Dodgers may hope to re-sign Jansen and Turner, it’s not a process Friedman intends to rush along. “So much of it is drafting off of them and what they want. If either guy said, ‘Hey, let’s sit down and try to knock this out in the next day or two,’ we’d seriously engage,” he said.
“I think it’s just trying to be respectful of them getting to free agency for the first real time for both. … We want them to ideally come back and feel really good about it.”