4 former Dodgers Andrew Friedman can reunite with this offseason
1. Kenley Jansen
Oh no we didn’t. We did NOT just pit Dodgers fans against one another. Put down the pitchforks! We have a legitimate argument here.
Closers are incredibly hard to come by. Kenley Jansen is a future Hall of Famer. He’s the best Dodgers closer ever. And his replacement in Kimbrel proved to be a much bigger disaster, beyond anyone’s imagination.
Jansen will be a free agent after signing a one-year, $16 million deal with the Atlanta Braves (same as Kimbrel’s contract the Dodgers inherited from the White Sox!). Jansen led the NL in saves and was one off the top MLB mark held by Emmanuel Clase. He finished with a 3.38 ERA, 3.21 FIP, 1.04 WHIP and 85 strikeouts in 64 innings. He was still beyond frustrating at times, but we hate to break it to you: not every closer is Mariano Rivera.
Hell, how many capable, trustworthy closers exist in today’s MLB? Maybe the fewest ever! Say Edwin Diaz, then go look at his 2019 season. Jansen is one of about 3-5 you’d be content rolling the dice with. And after the ninth inning proved to be a massive problem for LA in 2022, they may not want to make that mistake again.
Running it back with Jansen wouldn’t be the worst idea. There’s a longstanding relationship here and flexibility to move him around if he struggles. Worth a shot, even if some of you might hate it.