Kenley Jansen was a key member of the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen for over a decade, but that changed last year when the right-hander signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent.
Jansen reportedly sought a three-year contract but didn’t have many suitors and eventually settled for a one-year deal. Meanwhile, the Dodgers moved on by acquiring Craig Kimbrel from the Chicago White Sox.
After a successful season with the Braves, Jansen signed a two-year, $32 million contract with the Boston Red Sox this past offseason. The right-hander has thrown 10.2 innings with 16 strikeouts to begin his 2023 campaign and is on the verge of reaching 400 career saves.
Jansen reflected on some of his most memorable games and picked his appearance against the Washington Nationals in Game 5 of the 2016 National League Division Series as his favorite, via Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com:
“This is not even a save. I didn’t even get a save. I would say my favorite outing ever was Game 5 against the Washington Nationals, when I came in the seventh, I believe. Game on the line, I went all the way to the ninth then Clayton Kershaw picked me up and we won that game. To me, that was the best outing.”
Jansen allowed one hit and collected four strikeouts over 2.1 innings before handing the ball to Clayton Kershaw, who recorded his first career save and sent the Dodgers to the NL Championship Series.
As for his favorite save, Jansen named his appearance against the Cincinnati Reds on the day his son, Kaden, was born:
“My best save, I would say, is when my first-born, my son, Kaden, was born and that day (Aug. 16, 2015), I went to Dodger Stadium after my kid was born and got a (four)-out save against the (Reds). I got all (four) punchouts, if I’m not wrong. That’s one of my favorites that I’ll never forget because my son was born that day in the morning and I still went, got there in the third inning, and got a five-out save to win the game.”
Jansen spent the first 12 seasons of his career with the Dodgers and went 37-26 with a 2.37 ERA, 2.37 FIP, 0.93 WHIP, 13 strikeouts per nine and 350 saves across 701 games.
Jansen went on to record an NL-best 41 saves in his only season with the Braves and already has eight as a member of the Red Sox.
Kenley Jansen was open to re-signing with Dodgers
While he was a free agent for the second consecutive offseason, Jansen left the door open for a potential reunion with the Dodgers. That never transpired, and Evan Phillips is now the de facto closer for L.A.
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