Kenley Jansen Open To Dodgers Trading For Felipe Vazquez, Shane Greene Or Another Closer At Deadline
Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen reacts after a save against the Washington Nationals
Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

As is usually the case, the Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to be one of the more active teams at the July 31 MLB trade deadline this season.

The focus figures to be be on pitching, whether that be starters or relievers. The Dodgers can use bullpen help, but acquiring a starter such Noah Syndergaard or Marcus Stroman, both of whom they have been linked to in recent days, could allow them to move Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling to the bullpen to aid that unit.

In addition to those starters, the Dodgers have also been linked to Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Felipe Vazquez and Detroit Tigers reliever Shane Greene, both of which reside as the closers for their current teams.

When asked if he is open to the Dodgers acquiring another back-end reliever before the trade deadline, Kenley Jansen said he does not have a problem with it, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“Go get them. That’s good. It’s good for us,” Jansen said. “If you want to go get them, go get them. We never have enough depth.

“How can I worry about that? I know I’m the guy who’s done the job. Listen, don’t forget who I am. I’ll be that. I am that. … Listen, man, I can’t worry about what you guys think about me or what fans think about me. I can’t put negative stuff on my plate. That just takes you away from trying to get better.”

It’s unclear whether that means Jansen would be open to surrendering the closer role, at least at times, if the team brings in another elite reliever. He was opposed to that a couple of months ago when Craig Kimbrel was still a free agent.

If Jansen wants to keep his job as the Dodgers closer, the easiest solution is to pitch better. He has struggled a bit in recent weeks, and that was epitomized on Friday night when he allowed a hit and a run while walking two in his outing against the Washington Nationals.

Jansen is tied for fourth in baseball with 25 saves, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 3.37 FIP and 1.06 WHIP with 57 strikeouts and 11 walks in 41.2 innings across 41 appearances this season.

He has the ability to opt out of his contract and test free agency if he chooses this winter, so bringing in another reliever with closing experience could help prepare the Dodgers for that possibility.

Putting that aside though, the Dodgers’ main focus before the deadline will be improving the 2019 ballclub as they hope to return to and win the World Series.