Is this just going to be a re-run of last offseason when the Los Angeles Dodgers told most of their impending free agents to kick rocks?
Max Scherzer and Corey Seager are already gone. Chris Taylor has re-upped, but what about Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen? Losing guys like Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez, Alex Wood and Jake McGee was one thing … but watching your championship core disappear right before your eyes? Simply cannot happen.
All is still largely silent on the Kershaw front, but we have an update on Jansen. Some fans might like it, some fans might start panicking. Whether you love or hate the right-hander, he’s the best closer in Dodgers history and has a chance to crack the top-five of all time with a few more good seasons. His production is undeniable.
So when esteemed insider Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times tells us that Jansen is unlikely to return in 2022, some sort of concern needs to set in. Because the Dodgers likely won’t be able to work their magic to find an elite closer overnight.
Kenley Jansen is reportedly not expected to return to the Dodgers in 2022.
Here’s what Castillo wrote on Thursday:
"“Pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen, the two longest-tenured Dodgers, remain unsigned. Jansen, the franchise’s all-time saves leader, is not expected to return.”"
Just going to slip that in there? The proceeding sentences and paragraphs continued to talk about Kershaw and Seager without so much as another mention of Jansen. Is his departure a foregone conclusion among the organization as well as insiders? How has it come to this point?
It was reported before the lockout that both the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies had interest in Jansen, but nothing got done. The right-hander just finished up a five-year, $80 million contract with the Dodgers and it’s unclear why there seems to be a disconnect between the two parties.
It really feels like the Dodgers aren’t being aggressive with their in-house free agents. Scherzer revealed they weren’t close to the Mets’ offer. It’s evident they weren’t willing to go the extra mile to retain Seager. They’re “leaving the door open” for Kershaw, which indicates the ball is in the left-hander’s court. One could say they got a bit lucky with Taylor, who reportedly wanted to return, which is why he took such a team-friendly contract.
The Dodgers were apathetic with some of their key contributors last offseason, and it came back to haunt them. Pederson won a World Series with the Braves and Hernandez because a postseason legend with the Red Sox in short order.
Repeating that same behavior with franchise legends? Really, really not a good look or a winning formula.