Kenley Jansen is a free agent for the first time since 2016, when he signed a five-year contract to remain with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 34-year-old closer is expected to have a strong market once the lockout ends, and reportedly drew recent interest from the Philadelphia Phillies. However, the Phillies signed Corey Knebel, so it is unclear if they are still interested in adding another option to the back of their bullpen.
The Dodgers would like to retain their all-time saves leader, but they are reportedly not willing to pay a premium cost to re-sign Jansen because they still have multiple holes on their roster to fill.
If the Dodgers are not willing to spend big money on Jansen, they are likely to lose his services and the Miami Marlins could benefit from that, according to David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio:
“I could see Blake Treinen becoming the Dodgers’ closer if the price gets too high for Kenley Jansen. He is going to take the largest contract he possibly can because for all intents and purposes, this is his last opportunity at a big contract in free agency after being arguably the best closer in baseball last year. An old friend — Don Mattingly — has engaged Kenley Jansen in talks. The Marlins and Jansen are in talks.”
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman believes Jansen has earned the right to take all the time he needs to compare offers and make a decision that’s best for his family, whether it is with L.A. or another team.
While the Dodgers presumably prefer keeping Jansen around for the remainder of his career, they would be understanding if he ultimately signs with another team this offseason.
Dodgers closer if Jansen leaves
If Jansen returns to the Dodgers, Friedman indicated that he would remain in the closer role and have an opportunity to add to his 350 career saves.
However, if Jansen departs in free agency, Blake Treinen figures to be most likely to take over. The Dodgers could also use a closer-by-committee approach with Treinen, Daniel Hudson, Tommy Kahnle, Brusdar Graterol and Alex Vesia all getting opportunities.
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