When free agency began three certainties were free-agent closers Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon would each sign a record contract. Entering this winter, Jonathan Papelbon’s four-year, $50 million deal was the largest contract signed by a reliever.
His record deal, signed in November 2011, was shattered this week when Melancon inked a four-year, $62 million contract from the San Francisco Giants. As expected, that was then exceeded by Chapman’s new agreement.
On Wednesday night the electric left-hander came to terms with the New York Yankees, agreeing to a five-year, $86 million contract.
That leaves Jansen as the last man standing, and if the Miami Marlins have it their way, the right-hander will receive a contract that rivals Chapman’s.
The Los Angeles Dodgers named Jansen one their priorities this offseason, but it’s difficult to envision president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman breaking from his philosophy of not committing significant salary to a relief pitcher.
That’s notion is further supported by significant gap when negotiations between the Dodgers and Jansen, via to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
Sources with knowledge of the negotiations said the Dodgers began with an offer of four years and $55 million, a record average annual value for a closer. Jansen’s counter-offer? Eight years, $150 million.
Executives have projected since June that Jansen would receive a five-year contract. Within the past week the total value of such a deal was estimated to be $85 million.
Prior to Jansen officially reaching free agency he rejected the Dodgers’ qualifying offer. Thus, any team other than Los Angeles that signs the 29-year-old will lose their top unprotected pick in the 2017 Draft.
This being Jansen’s first time going through free agency, he said throughout the year that total dollars would be a priority. As much as the Curaçao native enjoyed being part of the Dodgers organization, capitalizing on his dominant run is a top priority.
Jansen ranks first in franchise history with 189 career saves, surpassing Eric Gagne’s record (161 saves) this season.