Potential Landing Spots for Kenley Jansen

Kenley Jansen
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Kenley Jansen is coming off one of the best seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2021, Jansen was the best closer in the NL, earning 38 saves with a 2.22 ERA in 69 appearances. Before his strong campaign, Jansen struggled. He’s never had an ERA higher than 3.70, and his 350 saves rank him 13th on the all-time list.

Furthermore, he’s thrown at least 50 innings in the last ten full seasons. Whenever the MLB lockout ends, Jansen will be a hot commodity for teams in need of bullpen help. His market will heat up as he could take his bullpen experience elsewhere.

Kenley Jansen Best Fits

Los Angeles Dodgers

A return to the Los Angeles Dodgers is intriguing. The last time Jansen was on the open market, he re-signed with the only organization he’s ever known. We can’t rule out the possibility of him returning to Los Angeles. The three-time All-Star made his debut with the club in 2010 and is now the franchise saves leader. He last signed a five-year, $80-million deal to stay with the Dodgers after the 2016 season. While the Dodgers are open to bringing back, they likely won’t put a premium on the 34-year old. The Dodgers have a strong bullpen intact with more critical needs elsewhere. Furthermore, if Jansen signs elsewhere, Blake Treinen is an internal option that Dodgers could lean towards closer.

Toronto Blue Jays

Kirby Yates would have been the Toronto Blue Jays closer until an injury in spring training ended his season. The Blue Jays went with Jordan Romano as the team closer. Romano was a key reason why the bullpen held its own when pushing for a playoff berth near the end of 2021. Now, imagine the combination of Jansen, who’s coming off his best season since 2017, and Romano. That pair would be quite the dynamic duo late in games, and it would give the rest of the relievers to throw into more comfortable roles. However, the Blue Jays could stick with Romano as their go-to closer and spend the money elsewhere.

Philadelphia Phillies

Jon Heyman tweeted that the Philadelphia Phillies were interested in his services. If getting closer isn’t on Dave Dombrowski’s to-do list, then it should be. Plus, the Phillies have interest in two other closers; Craig Kimbrel and Josh Hader. Jansen is the only one of three who is a free agent with a significant price tag. That could benefit a Phillies team with several empty holes to fill on their team. Nonetheless, it’s been some time since the Phillies have had a reliable closer. It seems like now is the time to find an end to that streak.

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Players Mentioned:

Kenley Jansen, Blake Treinen, Jordan Romano, Kirby Yates, Josh Hader, Craig Kimbrel