After not signing a free agent for more than $48 million in his first two winters as Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman broke from the trend in a significant manner this offseason.
Shortly after re-signing Rich Hill to a three-year, $48 million deal, the Dodgers reportedly agreed to terms with Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner. Jansen is said to have agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract, while Turner is expected to return on a four-year, $64 million pact.
Jansen’s deal is $6 million less than Aroldis Chapman’s new contract with the New York Yankees, and also could be as much as $5 million less than an offer Jansen had on the table from the Washington Nationals.
Jansen’s desire to remain with the Dodgers was buoyed over the weekend after Dodgers teammates Yasiel Puig, Turner and Scott Van Slyke were among those in attendance for Jansen’s wedding. That led to the closer instructing his agent, Adam Katz, to work out a deal.
Going into his age-29 season, Jansen still has some dominant years left in him. On the heels of his reported contract, Dan Szymborski on ESPN released Jansen’s ZiPS projections for the next five seasons:
Jansen had his best season as a professional in 2016, as he finished tied for second overall with 47 saves. He yielded a 1.83 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, and struck out 104 batters compared to just 11 walks in 68.2 innings pitched. That led to Jansen earning All-Star Game honors for the first time in his career.
Jansen also proved that he can effectively pitch multiple innings, as he threw more than one frame in five of seven postseason appearances. In the five contests, Jansen permitted three hits and had 17 strikeouts over 10.1 scoreless innings.
With the backend of the bullpen locked up by Jansen, the Dodgers front office will now try to piece the rest of their bullpen together the rest of this offseason.