3 teams that could steal Kenley Jansen from Dodgers in free agency

Adam Weinrib
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 20: Closer Kenley Jansen #74 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 20: Closer Kenley Jansen #74 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Kendall Graveman #31 of the Houston Astros (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

2. Seattle Mariners

OK, now Kendall Graveman definitely isn’t walking through that door.

Plus, you want crazy? There is nobody crazier than Trader Jerry Dipoto in Seattle, who’ll gut his clubhouse’s morale right in the heart of a pennant race by dealing his stopper, creating a void he hadn’t had earlier.

As of now, the M’s believe they’ll sprint towards the top of the west with a bullpen consisting of (drumroll please, drum falls apart, drumsticks roll on the ground onto train tracks): Paul Sewald, Diego Castillo, Drew Steckenrider and Erik Swanson. It’s like they built an entire bullpen out of up-and-coming seventh-inning guys.

You can’t win a Grammy with four Ringos.

Per Spotrac, the Mariners’ total payroll is just a shade over $71 million, and they could stand to add someone who — without taking into account the inevitable regression put forth by his 3.08 FIP — posted a 2.22 ERA, 86 Ks in 69 innings, and a 1.043 WHIP in a full year’s worth of high-leverage outings for a 106-win team.

There’s a gap between the FIP and ERA. This year’s FIP suggests 2021 wasn’t a major return to form, but rather a continuation of the somewhat less-impressive work he did in 2019 and 2020 (3.48, 3.03 FIPs). But still. This is a closer with significant experience who, at worst, is above league-average, and the bidding war is dormant. If Seattle wants to make a statement, they can add Jansen for a year or two as their cherry on top. We can guarantee the Dodgers will miss him if his absence creates a full-on hole.

Or, Seattle could just sit idly by in their quest to win the West and watch as he goes to somewhere far less appealing.

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