Despite the successes of the offseason, the Dodgers aren't and can't be done adding new additions to the roster ahead of Opening Day. The Dodgers have some ringers in their bullpen — Evan Phillips pitched 61 1/3 innings for a 2.05 ERA and Brusdar Graterol pitched 67 1/3 for an astounding 1.20 ERA — and the relief staff ended the year with the third-best ERA in the major leagues.
While most concerns for the Dodgers now are rightfully centered around the rotation, adding to the bullpen would only supplement what is all but guaranteed to be a winning team in 2024. Calls for LA to stretch their spending even more by adding Josh Hader have started to crop up, but there are more cost-effective options still out there for the Dodgers to pursue if they're on the market for a closer.
Jon Heyman of The New York Post connected the Dodgers to Red Sox reliever and longtime Dodger Kenley Jansen, who had an All-Star year in Boston in 2023.
MLB insider connects LA to possible Kenley Jansen trade
Jansen is 36, but his production hasn't waned much in the two years since he left the Dodgers. Outside of missing a few games due to a COVID diagnosis, he managed to stay healthy and closed 42 games for the Red Sox in 2023. In his 12 seasons in LA from 2010-2021, he pitched 705 innings for a 2.37 ERA, closed a mammoth 615 games, received Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP votes, and was a three-time All-Star.
If the Dodgers traded for him, they would be taking on one more year left on his contract and $16 million still owed to him, which is easier to digest than the $100 million+ contract that Josh Hader is pursuing. The Dodgers have dealt with the Red Sox to reclaim former players — namely, Kiké Hernández last year just ahead of the trade deadline — and Boston is looking to shed payroll, so taking Jansen and his $16 million off of their hands could be beneficial on both sides.
Hader is arguably the most elite closer in baseball, but his price tag might be a little too high, even for the Dodgers. Getting Jansen back in what might be the last few years of his career would not only be good for sentimental reasons, he's clearly still able to perform at a high level and do so without breaking the Dodgers' bank even further.