The Atlanta Braves announced the signing of Kenley Jansen to a one-year contract on Friday, some seven hours after the Los Angeles Dodgers finalized their $162 million deal with Freddie Freeman.
Per multiple reports, Jansen will earn a $16 million salary this season. Of the Dodgers who became free agents at the start of the offseason, Clayton Kershaw, Jansen and Corey Seager were unique in spending the entirety of their respective careers thus far with the team.
Seager of course went on to sign a 10-year, $325 million contract with the Texas Rangers prior to the MLB lockout. When business resumed this month, the Dodgers quickly re-signed Kershaw to a one-year deal worth $17 million.
With only three weeks until Opening Day, Jansen remained on the open market. He reportedly was looking to sign a three-year contract and maintain his role as a closer.
The Dodgers had indicated they were open to re-signing Jansen, but presumably not for the terms he sought. Furthermore, manager Dave Roberts already suggested the team is comfortable with relying on a closer-by-committee this season.
Jansen had been part of the Dodgers organization since he was signed as an amateur free agent out of Curacao in 2004. After struggling with inconsistencies over parts of the past two seasons, he posted a solid 2.22 ERA, 3.08 FIP and 1.04 WHIP with 38 saves across 69 appearances last year.
To this point there has been little reported interest in Jansen during free agency, both prior to and since the MLB lockout. The Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays were said to have held preliminary talks with the 34-year-old.
Roberts ‘absolutely’ would’ve welcomed Jansen back to Dodgers
While it appeared unlikely Jansen would re-sign with the Dodgers, Roberts had not closed the door on the possibility. “Absolutely. Obviously you guys know how much I love Kenley,” Roberts recently said.
“His agent and our guys, I think they’re talking. He’s going to ultimately make a decision that’s best for him and Gianni. I’m always open to welcoming Kenley back.”
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