Dodgers News: Kenley Jansen Wasn’t Influenced By Aroldis Chapman Or Mark Melancon During Free Agency
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The free agency process for the Los Angeles Dodgers consisted of a driving focus: re-signing Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner. Although it appeared an unlikely scenario, Los Angeles returned the three key contributors.

Of the trio, Jansen’s free agency was largely viewed as the most unpredictable. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman historically shied away from signing relievers to long-term deals, and Jansen was sure to command a large contract as one of the best closers available.

Los Angeles was connected to the over viable options — Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon — but seemingly were focused on Jansen. Despite that, the Curacao native was at one point thought to be deciding between signing with the Miami Marlins or Washington Nationals.

Compared to Melancon, and in some regard Chapman as well, Jansen’s free agency was a drawn-out process. Melancon was the first domino to fall, though he didn’t necessarily set the market.

The right-hander agreed to a four-year, $62 million contract with the San Francisco Giants.

Chapman received a five-year, $86 million deal from the New York Yankees, setting the record that Melancon broke weeks prior for largest contract doled out to a closer. Jansen ultimately checked in at five years and $80 million.

While the trio of closers were essentially intertwined throughout the winter, Jansen remained focused on himself. “First of all, I really didn’t look,” Jansen said during a press conference at Dodger Stadium this week.

“Me and Mark Melancon had conversations back and forth, but, and all respect to them, I really didn’t care. I have a great agent in Adam Katz, and I know he’s going to take care of me. I’m definitely the one to move the market around, but I really just looked for what I wanted to do in that situation and let Adam know where I wanted to be since day one, and we focused on that.”

Jansen went on to explain his decision to re-sign with the Dodgers as one that had to do with comfort level and desire to end the World Series drought in Los Angeles.

Jansen is the Dodgers all-time leader with 189 saves, which is a remarkable feat for an undrafted, converted catcher.