Will Dodgers Pursue a Contract With Kenley Jansen When Lockout Ends?

While the lockout has still frozen all big-league transactions, many of us continue to speculate how the Dodgers will fill out their active roster when the players and the owners reach a new collective bargaining agreement.

Two of the team’s biggest roster needs right now seem to be the starting rotation and the bullpen. We still no nothing about the future of Trevor Bauer, and there hasn’t been much reporting about Clayton Kershaw, specifically regarding his recovery from an elbow injury that ended his season prematurely last year.

On the bullpen front, there may be a chance the club is without the services of Kenley Jansen for the first time in 13 years. At the beginning of December, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “Jansen, the franchise’s all-time saves leader, is not expected to return.” However, aside from the speculation, there hasn’t been much to support those claims so far.

There’s no question Kenley will garner serious consideration across the league when player signings resume. In the days leading up to the lockout, we heard teams like the Phillies, Blue Jays, Cardinals and even the Astros having interest. Nevertheless, at age 34, it’s tough to tell just how much Kenley might have left in the tank.

After having a bit of a roller-coaster first half in 2021, Jansen settled down to post a 2.22 ERA over an even 69 innings of work, which was the first season he registered a sub-3.00 ERA since 2017. In addition, his 1.043 WHIP last year was his lowest since his 2018 campaign.

Still, for as much as Kenley goes through with criticism in Los Angeles, it wouldn’t be surprising if he lands elsewhere. If you’re a fan of the Dodgers, either you like Kenley or you don’t. It’s not uncommon to hear boos in the Los Angeles bleachers when he has a bad outing, despite being one of the most successful closers in franchise history.

In a recent fan poll conducted by our friends over at MLB Trade Rumors, the results far and away show Kenley remaining with the Dodgers.

Jansen is coming off a five-year, $80 million deal with the Dodgers that ended with him making $20 million of that total last season. Of course, he won’t land anywhere near the $20 million in his new deal, but a sum between $10-15 million for two years is definitely realistic. Last year, Jansen’s 69 regular season appearances were tied for 12th in the National League.

Coincidentally, Blake Treinen’s 72 appearances were good enough for first on the club and fifth-best on the senior circuit.

Heading into the 2022 season, Treinen has one more year left on his deal, and there’s no question he’ll be the frontrunner for the closer’s role if Jansen lands elsewhere. As we already know, Corey Knebel signed with the Phillies, leaving the door open for pitchers like Brusdar Graterol, Phil Bickford and Alex Vesia to throw in closing situations. Re-emerging seasons from Victor Gonzalez and Daniel Hudson are also not off the table.

Whatever the case may be, it will be interesting to see where Jansen lands and whether Castillo’s insider information was accurate. If Kenley signs elsewhere, it will no doubt be odd seeing him throw in a different uniform in the twilight years of his career.

Dodgers Score Big With International Free Agent Signings

The Dodgers have always been known as one of the biggest and most formidable players in the international free agent market, and 2022 is no exception.

In 2021, the signing period began on January 15 and ran through December. The same rules apply to this year. Prior to the pandemic, the signing period didn’t begin until July.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: What Lies Ahead for Michael Busch?

So far this winter, most of our prospect talk has surrounded pitching and catching, which always seems to make up the higher rankings of the Dodgers’ farm. However, with Corey Seager now out of the shortstop picture, some of the emphasis could switch to the middle infield spots, if things ever get rolling again roster-wise.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: Could 2022 See the MLB Debut of Diego Cartaya?

While the MLB roster freeze doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon, many of us continue to speculate how the Dodgers might fill out their roster once the new CBA is in place.

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Merry Christmas From Think Blue Planning Committee

Merry Christmas to all our readers! To say that 2021 was a roller coaster of a season would be an understatement. The return from the first World Championship in decades saw injuries rip through the roster the whole year, but the team still gave us plenty of excitement with a courageous playoff run.

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Random Thoughts on Dodgers’ Starting Rotation, 40-Man Roster and Free Agent Market

If there’s one thing the MLB stoppage has provided fans with so far this winter, it’s the freedom to let their minds run wild with imagination. With the absence of any legitimate rumors of trades or signings, hypothetical acquisitions have been running wild in the baseball blogosphere. If the CBA resolution arrives later than sooner, fans could witness a mad frenzy of signings like no other before.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: A Closer Look at Bobby Miller

Fans who pay close attention to the Dodgers’ farm system know that the last two seasons where like no other in recent history. In 2020, there was no minor league season at all due to the coronavirus, with only a select few prospects eligible to establish a regular schedule at the team’s alternate training site. Last year, just about every possible player who was mature enough and eligible for promotion got a shot in the majors, showing us just how talented — or untalented — the farm system actually is.

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Should Dodgers Prioritize a Trea Turner Contract Extension?

With all the uncertainty that surrounds MLB’s current lockout, there still seems to be a fair amount of speculation across the baseball blogosphere, at least as far as trades and free agent signings go.

At this stage of the game, we have the faintest clue as to what might happen over the coming months. If an agreement is reached, it could be in the waning moments of the offseason, giving clubs very little time to scramble and round out their respective player rosters.

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Max Scherzer Likely to Make Contract Decision Ahead of MLB Lockout

In a bit of hot stove news on Sunday, we learned that there’s a good possibility Max Scherzer could decide on his future team before the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement deadline.

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Dodgers Adjust 40-Man Roster Ahead of 2021 MLB Winter Meetings, Rule 5 Draft

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday afternoon added outfielder James Outman, infielders Jacob Amaya, Eddys Leonard, Jorbit Vivas and pitcher Michael Grove to the organizational 40-Man Roster.

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