2. Kenley Jansen
The best closer in Dodgers history. Arguably the best closer of his generation. Kenley Jansen is a free agent after his four-year, $80 million contract expired when 2021 came to a close, but there’s a mutual respect here. We can imagine Jansen will give the Dodgers an opportunity to match an outside offer … or it’ll be a situation like Taylor’s, where he wants to return and the two sides work out a favorable deal for both sides, especially since Jansen has already earned nearly $93 million throughout his career.
Then again, the Phillies, Blue Jays and Marlins have expressed interest, so it’s unclear how competitive things may get. But we really can’t think of a reason (outside of fan mistreatment, and you know who we’re talking about) for Jansen to want to leave LA if he’s offered a contract in the same ballpark that these other suitors are willing to give.
He can spend the next few years creating a cushion between himself and the next best Dodgers’ closer — Eric Gagne — to further assert his dominance as the best closer in team history and one of the best all-time (he’s 13th all-time in saves and could realistically crack the top five with two more really good years).
So far, LA lost Knebel and Joe Kelly and added Daniel Hudson. Tommy Kahnle will be available after missing all of 2021. Relying heavily on guys like Phil Bickford, Mitch White, Alex Vesia and Brusdar Graterol may not be the best decision. They’re best served in smaller roles. Jansen’s return is important and he could continue to anchor the bullpen with ease.