The Los Angeles Dodgers have 11 players who will reach free agency following the conclusion of the World Series, including closer Kenley Jansen, among other franchise stalwarts.
The three-time All Star has been with the Dodgers since his MLB debut in 2010 and is the organization’s all-time saves leader with 350. Jansen started to decline in 2018 and those struggles ran through 2020.
While he was never a bad pitcher, Jansen no longer appeared to be at an elite level seen in previous years, until rebounding in 2021. That seemingly has set up for another lucrative contract this winter.
He last signed a five-year, $80 million deal to stay with the Dodgers after the conclusion of the 2016 season. The Dodgers may have interest in re-signing Jansen for a second time but potentially only to a certain extent, per Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
The Dodgers are open to bringing back Jansen, but they’re unlikely to pay a premium for a 34-year-old closer with so many other holes to fill on the roster.
Because of his rebound season, many teams presumably will be interested in adding the right-hander as there are several clubs in need of an established closer.
Jansen has expressed interest in returning to L.A. as he considers himself a Dodger for life. But if he does return, it would likely be at a discount.
“It’s not in my hands. I’ve got to thank God for a great opportunity I’ve had here,” Jansen said. “I’m thankful to be here for all these years. It’s the only team I’ve known. They believed in me when I was 17 years old as a catcher, then they made me a pitcher and here I am now. It happened fast.
“I enjoyed this journey and I always will be a Dodger.”
If Jansen leaves in free agency, L.A. already has a capable replacement in Blake Treinen and they will hope Tommy Kahnle is able to become a big contributor after sitting out 2021 due to Tommy John surgery.
The Dodgers will also need to decide if they want to retain other free agents, which includes Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Max Scherzer and Chris Taylor.
Dodgers reportedly offered contract extension to Seager
The Dodgers reportedly offered Seager a contract extension earlier in the year, but the terms remain unknown.
Seager is expected to receive a contract that could be around, or even exceed $300 million, with several teams looking to upgrade at shortstop.
With Trea Turner now in the fold, the Dodgers might be more open to letting Seager leave. However, they would be wise to keep exploring a new deal as Turner only has one-year left on his contract.
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