While the Winter Meetings have been going on, several players have already signed new and lucrative contracts. The Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in multiple players and with management looking to end their World Series drought, they are actively looking for ways to improve their team.
Kenley Jansen is one of the team’s top priorities as the closer is a free agent and has reportedly already been targeted by the Miami Marlins. However, according to J.P. Hoornstra of Inside The Dodgers, Jansen and the Dodgers seem to be at odds over his contract:
It might be worth noting that Jansen and the Dodgers began this journey rather far apart. Sources with knowledge of the negotiations said the Dodgers began with an offer of four years and $55 million, a record average annual value for a closer. Jansen’s counter-offer? Eight years, $150 million.
Jansen’s proposed counter-offer would easily pay him more than the contracts fellow closers Mark Melancon and Aroldis Chapman signed. Melancon signed a four-year, $62 million contract with the San Francisco Giants while Chapman agreed to a five-year, $86 million deal with the New York Yankees.
While it is unlikely for a relief pitcher to strike a deal like the one Jansen proposed, it is likely the free agent will make somewhere close to what Melancon and Chapman received due to the current market. With their current payroll, it remains to be seen if the Dodgers and Jansen can agree on terms to keep the All-Star reliever in Los Angeles.
Jansen had his best season this year, posting a 1.83 ERA and striking out 104 batters. His efforts led to his first All-Star nod and earned him recognition as one of baseball’s best relievers. With Melancon and Chapman off the market, Jansen is the best free agent closer left and it will be interesting to see where he lands.