The Dodgers Should Lock-up Kenley Jansen

There’s been a lot of talk about whether the Dodgers should extend closer Kenley Jansen after a recent article from Ken Gurnick reported that there were no extension talks between Jansen and the Dodgers. The club and Kenley just recently settled on a 10.6 million dollar salary for Kenley for both sides to avoid arbitration. This is Jansen’s final year of arbitration and Kenley is set to hit the free agent market this coming winter after the season is over.

Gurnick interviewed Jansen and he has expressed his desire to stay in Los Angeles. In typical moneyball fashion the club has not discussed keeping him beyond 2016 at all. Poor underappreciated Kenley. The message has been clearly sent.

The “should we sign Kenley” debate has been a hot topic over here on the site as well. As spring training camps open this week and players file into their Camelback clubhouse for the first time this spring, we often wonder which players will still be with the club next spring training and which players should be signed long term. These are all valid questions and concerns every baseball fan or writer has.

After the Aroldis Chapman trade fell through because of Chapman’s domestic violence incident, reports surfaced that Kenley was not upset and understood the club’s situation. Apparently Andrew Friedman had reached out to him after the trade fell through.

To answer the question of whether the Dodgers should resign Kenley one can also look at the question of whether or not a club needs a closer. My response to that question would be, “do birds fly”? Of course a club needs a closer, and they need a good one.

Perhaps I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to roster creation, but I do believe that having a consistent closer is a necessity for any good baseball club. Many of the anti-reliever pro-moneyball and anti-free agency type people will argue against it. I once heard one of the writers in the Dodger dugout once say that relievers were a dime a dozen as we waited for Don Mattingly to come out for a pre-game presser.

Indeed fungible middle relievers are a dime a dozen most of the time, but elite relievers are always the exception. Kenley is absolutely an elite reliever. We can argue about the validity of a closer and “saves” but the reality is all of the best clubs in baseball have a bad ass closer in the ninth inning. The Giants have Sergio Romo. The Royals had Greg Holland before he got hurt and now have Wade Davis. The Mets have Jeurys Familia. The Cardinals have Trevor Rosenthal. You get the idea.

The free agent market is bloated but it’s still developing for closers and late inning relievers. Star closers are not getting 200 million dollar contracts. They don’t pitch enough innings to warrant that kind of deal. Many people will always cite the whole “They’re going to have to pay Kenley 150 million dollars to keep him!” argument, and “that contract won’t be worth it in several years!”. The moneyball kids and anti-relievers make the same arguments every time. If you remember they said the same thing about Zack Greinke. As in life nothing is that black and white.

Kenley won’t get that much cash, maybe 40-50 million dollars would be sufficient. It’s not even about that though. It’s about Kenley being one of the best relievers in all of MLB over the last several seasons. Jansen has pitched for the Dodgers since 2010. He’s entering his seventh season in Dodger Blue. Kenley has posted a 2.28 ERA/2.02 FIP and has a 5.6 hits per nine innings rate in 338 games pitched. He’s struck out 14 batters per nine innings and saved 142 games for the Dodgers. Saves may have become a dirty word because of the moneyball kids but they do matter to some degree.

Even with his heart problems he’s still been remarkably reliable. He’s averaged 68 appearances and over 60 innings per season since his MLB debut.

In case you are wondering just how good Kenley has been over the last several years, let me show you. Since 2012 Kenley has ranked as the third best reliever in pitching WAR in all of baseball behind only Craig Kimbrel and Chapman. Since 2011 he ranks fourth with a 9.8 WAR.

Since 2011-relief pitching WAR leaders

1 Craig Kimbrel Braves/Padres 12.4
2 Aroldis Chapman Reds 10.8
3 Greg Holland Royals 9.8
4 Kenley Jansen Dodgers 9.8
5 David Robertson Yankees/White Sox 9.3

Since 2012

1 Aroldis Chapman Reds 10.3
2 Craig Kimbrel Braves/Padres 9.3
3 Kenley Jansen Dodgers 8.3
4 Greg Holland Royals 8.1
5 David Robertson Yankees/White Sox 6.7

 

Those numbers certainly don’t lie. Jansen has been one of the best relievers in all of baseball over the last 5 seasons. He is not just a really good closer; he’s a unique talent that doesn’t come around often. The one saving grace about all of the Dodger’s bullpen problems the last few years has been that they have a great closer. Losing Kenley would be a tough blow to a bullpen that has struggled to find its form.

At some point you have to start retaining your star players and paying them well. This anti-free agent small market mentality is not good for a large market club. Just because the Dodgers have the best farm system in baseball is not an excuse to not keep your star players around once they hit their free agent years. Every player and every contract is different. Some work out, some don’t. Jansen is in the prime of his career (age 28) and not signing him for those years would be pretty foolish.

Even the small market Royals are finally learning that retaining your star players is worth the financial commitment. Their recent extensions of players like Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon are good examples. Sure the Gordon extension may hamstring them financially in a couple of years, or it may help them win a couple more championships and sell out every game while generating millions of dollars in sales and merchandising. Think that contract will be worth it? You better believe it.

Unfortunately we know that the brain trust simply don’t operate that way. That’s just the way they are. They’ll let Kenley walk in free agency and he’ll be running in from the bullpen with a Dbacks uniform to “wild wild west” instead of “California Love”. Other teams are going to be licking their chops.

Oh sure the Dodgers will survive. Maybe Chris Hatcher or Yimi Garcia takes over the role. Maybe the Dodgers make some complex three-team trade to land a Craig Kimbrel or David Robertson. Or perhaps they take one of their great pitching prospects like Jharel Cotton and turn him into a closer. Anything is possible. Sometimes you should just take the traditional route and re-sign a guy. Long term contracts don’t always end in failure. Baseball isn’t always binary.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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115 thoughts on “The Dodgers Should Lock-up Kenley Jansen

  1. Decide in July. See what we got in house for a few months. Then either extend him or trade him.

    If traded, go for the rediculus first. How about Jansen, Agon, Puig, De Leon, Cotton, Barnes, and Buhler, for Pujuls and Trout? Come on, life is short, have some fun, if only in a dream. No need to say that such a trade is crazy, I am already on to that.

    1. Hate it. Pujols is a DH and is owed way too much money for way too long. He will be paid $59 million AFTER he turns 40, which won’t happen until 2020. And the Angels aren’t giving up Trout any more than the Rockies will be giving up Arenado. We need to find our own young studs (Seager/Puig) and turn them loose on the league. Besides, we got Micah and Trayce, we don’t need Albert and Mike.

      1. Not that I want to defend my comment that was made to entertain me and was not meant to be taken seriously because Artie won’t trade a fan favorite to a cross town rival, but come on Badger, the argument against such a trade is Pujols’ contract?
        ,
        The angels have the worst minor league rating in baseball and shallow pitching and catching not to mention an inability to sign free agents because of Pujols’ and Hamilton’s contracts. They wouldget financial relief and Puig. Agon has a fan SoCal fan base to help mitigate the loss of Trout’s fan base.

        1. I think we could use Pujols when the DL hits the NL but by then he will be one of the most overpaid in the game. Look how his contract reads – it started getting goofy in ’14, he’s 34 and he just got a $7 million raise. It goes up a million a year until he’s 41. Do you think Freidman would have anything to do with that? And do really think Moreno would let Mike Trout go? He’s locked up and being paid what he’s worth during his prime years! Good move by the Angels. I don’t like the trade because it won’t ever happen. Find somebody under 30 who hasn’t been paid a lot and you will be talking about somebody who could be available. Like Jansen. You can bet his name is coming up on other blogs.
          .
          That said I still don’t see any big trades by these guys. Not now and not at the deadline. I just don’t see it. But, I’m ready to be surprised.

      1. Laugh all you but want while I made my comment for the fun of it, most of your comments are serious and I usually disagree with most of them.

        1. That is your prerogative, and perfectly ok with me. Not always serious, but if that is your take, well that is okay too. I am not on here to have the entire Dodger fan base agree with what I think. But I have my opinions just like everyone else on here, and a spirited back and forth is always fun. You have your beliefs and I have mine. I watch probably 80 percent of the games on MLB.com since I am retired, so there is not much I miss. The LOL was in reply to the fact that I knew it was a joke, and in this case, you are the one taking it seriously. I do not particularly like saber metrics, but I understand that is the way the new FO does things. But that does not mean I have to agree with every move they make. And I usually do not. But being a fan for as long as I have, I feel I can pretty well say what I want. I have earned it from watching this team for over 60 years. I have been in the Dodger dugout, and on the field. I met a bunch of the players on the 81 championship team the night I sang the national anthem there and I have an ongoing friendship with Wes Parker, whom I met in 1980. So your opinion is noted, but it has little affect on what I am going to post…..have a great day

          1. I liked everything you just said except the last 4 words.
            .
            Wes Parker would hit 9th instead of 8th when Drysdale pitched in his first couple of years on the Dodgers. I always liked to mention him when Loney would get beat up because he was not the hitter most wanted him to be because he played first base.
            .
            I also watch most Dodger games on Extra Innings but because they often come on at 10:10 PM on the east coast I usually watch the first inning and watch the rest of the game on tape the next day. I do lots of fast forwarding when I am not interested in a particular hitter.
            .

  2. I think it’s a little premature to start predicting that Kenley will be in a Dback uni. I think the lack of an extension reflects more of a wait and see approach. Let him pitch another year. If he continues to excel, then the FO can talk about an extension. Why secure him now and see an injury happen or a decline in performance. Saber geek stuff is about having data. Having data is really about having information. After another year, the Dodgers will have more information about the current state of Kenley’s performance before making a decision on signing him. They can also see what the market is for him. They waited on Kendrick and managed to sign him to a team friendly contract.
    .
    I don’t know where the proposed contract numbers for him are coming from. Just checking on Kimbrel’s contract, that was four years at something like 11 or 12 a year. I don’t know where 150 million or 7 years comes from.
    .
    I’d try to sign him. Depending on what he does, I wouldn’t want to sign him for more than four years. Most relievers decline at 30, and he’s 28…..and there are quite a few live arms in the minor league system that might develop.

  3. Agree with everything that you have posted here.

    1 – Jansen is a rare talent among relief pitchers. He is one of the top 3 or 4 relievers in the game. He is consistently good – not one of the “fungible” relievers who is good one year and gone the next.
    2 – If the “Braintrust” is about collecting talent, there is no reason not to retain him. The more good relievers the Dodgers have, the better.
    3 – Every Dodger team that I can remember has kept its homegrown stars, or regretted it. Most fans are still ticked that they let Mike Piazza go. (Me too.) The Garvey Lopes Russell Cey infield was together because the team kept them together.
    4 – The Moneyball theory is to let your best talent go for prospects because you can’t afford to resign it. The Dodgers are not a small market team. They can afford to keep their best talent. (The Braintrust all come from small market teams – Tampa, Oakland, San Diego. They need to understand that these are the Los Angeles Dodgers, not the Tampa Dodgers.) Think Oakland missed Josh Donaldson last year?
    5 – The Dodgers’ most consistent weakness for the past 3 years has been the bullpen. How many times have fans heard that Kershaw was kept in playoff games too long because the team lacked a bridge from the starters to Jansen. If Jansen goes, to whom will we need a bridge? I have not seen that Hatcher, Baez or Yimi are “closers” as yet. I still get nervous when Hatcher or Baez come into a game – Hatcher because his control is still iffy and Baez because he has one pitch and although he is fast, his heater is straight and hittable.
    6 – The Braintrust was willing to trade for Aroldis Chapman this past offseason and he is more expensive than Jansen. If they don’t want to pay big money for a closer, then why get Chapman?
    7 – The Braintrust has dumped millions into Cubans who haven’t played an inning in the Majors and who may never do so. I am all for exploring the foreign market for talent, but “a bird in the hand…”.

    The Dodgers should extend Jansen.

    1. Even Chad Moriyama at Dodgers’ Digest concurs:

      “The apparent lack of desire to lock Jansen up has always been a bit puzzling, especially in light of the team’s attempt to trade for Aroldis Chapman, because that potential move seemed to indicate an understanding from the front office that while middle relief arms (even quality ones) are ultimately fungible, elite-level relievers have a lot of value.”

    2. I totally agree with everything here. There are rare situations where you roll out the red carpet. I think signing Jansen in is one of them. Friedman was quoted as saying they have no hard and fast rules so let’s hope they put the Moneyball book away when it’s time to negotiate.

  4. I would rather start developing his successor. I personally don’t like the 9th inning in baseball today, but I can’t deny that it is played like no other inning. To me it is very uninteresting. Look for another catcher conversion. I think your closer has to be decent, but I don’t think he has to be elite. To me, the 7-8 inning guys are just as important. Maybe the 6 inning guy who comes in with the bases loaded in a close game. I would not overpay Jansen.

    1. I agree with you 100%. In fact I would argue Jansen should be brought in to pitch the 6th inning with the bases loaded!
      .
      I sure would have brought him in to pitch to Holiday and Wright!

      1. Don’t know for sure but I’d bet Jansen wants to try the FA market and it would take really large $ for him to forego it.

  5. First and foremost, even the long-tenured Dodger infield had 3/4 of the players end up with other teams.
    Secondly, Joshua Kusnick is Kenley’s agent and it takes two to tango. Maybe it’s his agent that doesn’t want to extend Kenley. Kenley has never had arm issues, so if I were Kisnick, I would want him to hit free agency. My guess is that Kusnick DOESN’T WANT TO TALK CONTRACT, and if he did it would start at $85 to $100 million. No way the Dodgers will start there.
    I think this just has to play out. Everyone is speaking from emotion, but Kusnick is a smart agent and he’s going to play the system. The system screwed Kendrick, but it could be a boon for Kenley. At the very least, he could take the qualifying offer which will be $16 or $17 million.
    You are thinking with your hearts!

    1. Cey and Lopes left after they were washed up.

      Everything that I have read (including the Dodgers website) say that it is the team that didn’t want to talk contract (see my quote from Dodgers’ Digest above).

      1. Cey actually had a couple of decent years with the Cubs. Considering the merry-go-round of replacements the Dodgers tried (Jeff Hamilton, anyone) I’m not sure we came out ahead there.

        1. And Snider remember all the third baseman that the Dodgers had before Cey. Garvey was there, until they knew he couldn’t throw.

  6. I would have said the traditionalist view is no need for a closer. Traditionally all relief pitchers were viewed the same, not good enough to go 9 bit good enough to go 3 or 4 because the starter was hit.

    In modern baseball don’t closers burn up after a few years on the job?

    1. I don’t like the 9th inning closer that Tony LaRussa and his ilk have given us but the Dodgers have had a relief ace since Hugh Casey in the 40’s. Remember Ron Perranoski and Phil (the Vulture) Regan? Jim Brewer? Mike Marshall? Eric Gagne? You gotta’ have a closer.

      1. You gotta have pitchers who can get outs. None of those guys with the exception of Gagne were restricted to only the 9th inning. And in the case of Mike Marshall he wasn’t restricted in the # of appearances 🙂

  7. Wait and see, wait and see. Then wave bye-bye. The Yanks or the Red Sox would’ve signed him for another four years. If they had to eat a season or two they would do it because its part of the cost of doing business. If you can commit over $100 million to foreign signings which come with their own risks, why not offer a proven player a fair contract? If he turns it down, let him walk.

    1. You have no idea if that’s the case or not. Neither side is going to say.
      “The Yanks or the Red Sox would’ve signed him for another four years.”
      Really?
      They let Papelbon walk if I’m not mistaken.
      So, sign him for four years? At $70 million?

  8. Great writing Scott.

    I say again, offer to extend him at a decent rate. He’s been treated fairly, getting a good raise, making $10.6 this year – which is near the top of the scale for closers. He’s not the best, but he’s among them. He may want to test the market, but 3 at $33 in July is fair if he is blowing people away. We can afford it, make it happen or make other plans.

    1. I would tend to agree with you. Not sure what he and his agent think a decent rate might be. He says he was not bothered by the Chapman fiasco, but you have to wonder. I think they feel they might have his successor in camp…Cotton….the kid has pretty nasty stuff….

  9. To those who want to trade him at the deadline, don’t you think he would be worth more with a long- term contract? And stop pulling stupid numbers out of your arse like you’re Scott Boras.

    1. That’$ $cott Bora$$. $mile and bow when you u$e hi$ name. And if it’$ him, 4 year$ $50 million with player friendly option$.

  10. Personally, I wait. Jansen has never had arm issues that is true. But he has had heart issues more than once, and his foot last year. He is getting older, and most closers that I have watched start to lose something unless they make adjustments. Jansen has lost velocity on his fastball, and he has shown a penchant for relying too much on his slider at times. There must be a good reason why the front office has chosen not to initiate talks yet. We are not privy to the same info they are….so I adopt a wait and see……Cotton is young, has wicked stuff, and may be being groomed by the team as his successor. On a lighter note…..Jimmy Rollins signed with the White Sox to a minor league contract…so Rolo will be at Camelback after all….

  11. The closer has a very unique situation in the bullpen in that he only gets ready to pitch one time in a game and then only when the Dodgers have a lead of no more than 3 runs. Others are up and down in the bullpen and wind up pitching more in the bullpen than they do in games.
    .
    There is no worse way to lose a game than to take a lead into the 9th and lose, especially if the starter pitched a 7 or 8 inning gem. I think if a team expects to get into a WS, they have to have a great and proven closer.

  12. Some guys on here take themselves far too seriously…..you and I are fans, we are not the front office and we have no say in what they do. All we can do is comment, and speculate and in a lot of cases bitch and moan about what is happening to and with our beloved Dodgers. But when someone says something you do not agree with, there is no need to crucify the person. They are entitled to their take, whether it sucks or not. Some of us played the game some did not and are just fans. Have a little respect for all who post, and understand, not everyone is on the same page you are…..

      1. It is kind of weird on here because it does not always post right under the post you are replying to…the last post was just a observation, and not directed at anyone…..you are right about Wes, he was a pretty bad hitter, and never really had a good season until his last one….he hit .300 once, but the boy was one of the best gloves I ever saw, and he is a really nice person…very grounded. His dad used to own a machine shop in Santa Monica. Wes would leave me tickets there and I would go down and pick them up…he had great seats…..field level, 4th row behind the visiting dugout…..

        1. He had his best season in 1970 and retired after ’72. In ’70, he hit .310 and lead the league in doubles with 47, 111 RBIs. Was 3rd in the MVP balloting. Won 6 straight Gold Gloves.

          I read an interview where he said this:
          “He revealed, “Being a great hitter required so much effort I didn’t enjoy baseball any more. I worked so hard that year, and it required me to put so much concentration into the game that it was pure work. I wasn’t a natural hitter; it came hard for me. I had to think about baseball all day long. Then I had to get off by myself 20 minutes before each game to quiet down my mind. I had to stop doing clinics and guest appearances. There was no more of going to dinners and banquets. I could do no socializing. Just to maintain my focus I had to immerse myself in baseball to keep my mind totally involved, to the total exclusion of everything else, like enjoying life. Sure, that was my best year at the plate. But it was also the most unenjoyable year I had in major league baseball.”

          He could have been a better hitter I guess but I always enjoyed watching him play.

  13. I’d say wait and see what kind of year he has before you give him a multi year gazillion $ contract. They very often blow up in your face, like Billingsly.

      1. Badger there is an article in Dodger com, that I think you would like to read. It is called Dodgers want to win and keep prospects. It was the lastest article on Dodger com, by MLB., when I read it.

  14. 3 Years/$33 Million?

    You are delusional, Badger.

    Do fans think other agents haven’t been watching Boras and taking notes?

    Kenley’s agent is looking for 9 figures. I know it! FAZ knows it… which is why there is no discussion.

    Will he get that? If he saves 49 games with a 1.89 ERA he can write his own check. It’s a great position to be in, but don’t try to say with a straight face the Dodgers should extend him. HELLO!

    Dodgerrick says he “read” Believe half of what you see and none of what you read. Just remember this and see who has it right!

    1. I think 9 figures is a little high. I would think he would probably get in the 50-60 million range for 2-4 years. Considering he’s been excellent for five consecutive seasons I would say that’s justified for him. At some point the Dodgers are going to have to commit to some of their players and keep them in town. Otherwise you’re looking at constant roster turnover every 3-4 years when these guys hit free agency.

      1. That’s the way of the A’s/Rays/Pads. Maybe that’s what we have to learn to live with as Dodgers fans. If you are an A’s fan, you root for Billy Beane because none of their players are there for more than 5 years. We will have to root for the Braintrust. maybe I will buy a jersey with Friedman’s name on the back and a $ instead of a number.

        1. You make a good point Dodgerick. I am very optimistic for this coming season. The player development and farm systems are outstanding. The Dodgers are a very talented club and I expect them to be in the postseason this year. I applaud the front office for that. However I will never ever root for executives. I root for the players on the field.

      2. Thank you for injecting a note of sanity into the proceedings, Scott. Seems like someone has gone off their meds again. I don’t believe anyone can know how much it would take without talking to K.J. but I doubt he would expect a bigger contract than Kimbrel or Chapman. And I’m pretty sure if the Dodgers made an offer his agent would be obligated to notify him.

  15. “Kenley’s agent is looking for 9 figures”
    .
    Laughable
    .
    If you’ve been paying any attention at all you must know that Freidman is not going to pay a 60 inning pitcher $100 million. No reliever makes close to that. That’s insane. IF he has a good year he will be offered an extension. The longest most lucrative reliever contract out there is 4 years $50 million and most people believe that is a mistake. I do not see the Dodgers offering Jansen $50 million. It just doesn’t sound like Freidman. The Dodgers will go a cheaper route if he doesn’t sign the contract they want him to sign.

  16. I continue to read that many of you believe that closers start to lose it after 30. That apparently is news to Lee Smith, Billy Wagner, Troy Percival, Trevor Hoffman, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter, Fernando Rodney, and Joe Nathan who were all effective into their late 30s and of course Mariano Rivera and Dennis Eckersly into their 40s. Rivera had 44 at age 43 and Eck had 36 at age 42. Papelbon is still effective at 34. I am not trying to compare Jansen to these closers, but only to dispel the myth that closers start to lose it at 30. Some do, but most of the elites do not, and Jansen is elite. There’s no guarantee that Jansen will have a similar career, but there’s no guarantee that he won’t. Many here like to think other teams ifs will do well while the Dodgers ifs will not. Contract signings are all gambles.

    Of course his heart problems could recur. But every player is subject to some injury without prior notice. That is the risk of the game. Of course there may be someone who can replace him currently on the 40 man. But Jansen is more the sure thing than Cotton, C. Anderson, Hatcher, Garcia, Montas, or Sierra. Many want to wait until he pitches this year and then see. The point of an extension is to tie up players over their free agent years whereby both player and team share some risk. FAZ has no problems risking $30M on Sierra. How about Alveraz, Diaz, Estevez, Brito, Leon…?

    The idea of a farm is to keep the pipeline going or to use the prospects to go out and get a need. If you have one of the best three, who are you going to get who is better either by farm or trade? I agree with Mark that it is probably too late now to extend, but at what point do you tie up a prospect and take away a couple of FA years? Think Goldschmidt and Chris Sale. At what point will the Dodgers consider a multi-year contract for Seager to take him out of some FA years? Or are the Dodgers going to let all players leave after they become eligible for FA, or simply providing a QO, and then replace the experienced player with another prospect. I do not know what FAZ will do in the longer term as one year is not enough time to create any kind of trend. But they could have made a statement by extending Jansen. Now it’s wait and see.

    1. Ac I 100% agree here with you. He’s been excellent for 5 years. What’s to wait and see? But that’s the moneyball game. They refuse to commit to any player long term for any dollar amount. Even if the player clearly deserves it and will produce over the entire length of the contract. That’s why there was constant roster turnover in Tampa and oakland. Welcome to the moneyball era.

    2. AC hopefully the front office will lock some of the young players up, like you have said, especially if they will take a team friendly contract. I know that Friedman did this with the Ray’s current third baseman, and that contract hasn’t been as good, as everyone thought, but Longoria is a good defensive third baseman, and could still make that contract look better. Longoria doesn’t have to much protection in that Ray’s line up, so that can be a factor, that Longoria hasn’t been as effective offensively , as he once was. If I was the Marlins, I wouldn’t have given Gordon, a long contract, at this point. I would have at least, waited one more year.

    3. I don’t agree. Maybe those you listed are the exception to the rule. Maybe more do burn out, not based on age rather a few years of throwing heat as opposed to actually pitching.
      .
      You can’t just list some names and use that as proof while not listing all those that do fall into that category, the Eric Gagnes of the world. He did the CY remember.

  17. Why is it too late to extend?
    .
    Why would Jansen expect to be the highest paid closer in baseball? He’s among the best now, and is paid accordingly, but arguments could be made others are as good or better. He ranked 5th last year in fangraphs in reliever WAR.
    .
    Can’t wait to see if Kenley is allowed to “write his own check”. If he was Cuban, and never pitched an inning in MLB, he’d make more money from this management group.
    .
    I will admit I am a bit bumfuzzled by what I see going on around the Dodgers. They raise payroll to unprecedented levels last year, yet go cheap at the deadline. It appeared to me, and a few others, they just didn’t believe in the core group here, but then over the winter instead of changing players they change the coaching, training and scouting staffs. WTF? This looks like a long term plan to me. 2016? Yeah, sure, maybe….. no, I don’t think so….. I don’t know. Now I’m told by the Knower of All Things around here our best relief pitcher is expecting $100,000,000 and will get it since he will be allowed to write his own check.
    .
    It’s getting more ridiculouser every day.

  18. So, explain to me why Jansen’s agent would even consider allowing the Dodgers to lock up Jansen? Jansen is a appreciating asset. He is young and entering his prime years. Worst case scenario is that he signs the qualifying offer. Best case is that he gets a $105 Million/7 year deal. Maybe his agent would let him take the known for the unknown and sign a 6 year/$75 to 80 million dollar deal. That is a lot, but Jansen is sitting in a great position due to his age and success and it’s likely he will get even better. Someone will likely give him that $100 million contract.

    As a businessman, I understand what a competitive advantage is and Kenley has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I just happen to believe that closers are not worth that kind of money and that they can be easily replaced.

    If you are clamoring for the Dodgers to extend Kenley, tell me what they should offer! Give me some substance.

  19. 100,000,000 I counted the digits and yep, 9 figures. That’s the minimum $ amount of a 9 figure salary. I’ll take the under for 5 push-ups Alex.

  20. 39/3

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=rel&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2015&month=0&season1=2015&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

    click on any of these guys among the most valuable relievers….

    or here…click on the Save leaders if you want to compare closers…

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=rel&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2015&month=0&season1=2015&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=5,d

    ….hardly any of these guys even make an eight figure average salary. What else can we glean from this? Well, for one, the typical service time for a closer is pretty short. They’re young or younger, and typically kind of found their way into a closer role due to happenstance. Look at how Familia got to where he was as one of the top closers in the game last year. It took a PED suspension and an injury for him to make it to that role, where he excelled. What does that tell us? Relievers….even closers….are somewhat fungible. If you have talent depth, you can find comparable value to replace what is lost.

    What other lessons can we take from looking at some of that Fangraph info? I was trying to find the most expensive closer. I think it was Papelbon. Here’s his profile

    “Profile: Stripping away any meaningful context, Papelbon’s season was pretty ordinary. He’s no longer striking out batters like he did in his heyday, but he’s a perfectly useful late-inning reliever who has that “proven closer” experience that some front offices — a declining number to be sure — continue to covet. He’s also being paid like a closer, which carries some clout in baseball circles as well. And maybe it’s that clout that made Papelbon act the way he did in the nation’s capital, when he went so far as to attack teammate Bryce Harper for a perceived misdeed against the integrity of the game. No matter the reason, Papelbon appeared to punch his ticket out of town with that misstep. For whatever reason, the 35-year-old still remains on the Nationals roster, and may remain so even without a huge change in his temperament. In any case, he’ll probably close wherever he goes, for reasons. So his value should be about the same. (Brandon Warne)”

    He hasn’t come close to matching his peak strikeout rate since 2011. He’s the most expensive closer in the game, but his value and effectiveness is limited and, in reality, the only reason he will even be a closer on a MLB club is because of his salary and reputation. A team can’t justify paying that guy that much and have him be middle relief. This is the epitome of a stupid contract and a stupid trade by the Nats,and one FAZ are much too smart to ever make. This is why you don’t lock up a “closer” long term to big money.

    Let’s take a look at another guy:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4264&position=P

    He led the league in saves last year. But he’s 30 and his velocity is starting to dip. He will start to lose effectiveness from here on out. The Pirates are a smart team. They were one of the early adopters of the rational approach to general management (by the way, this is a really great read and explains fully how the Bucs used all that nerd stuff to finally be contenders ..http://www.amazon.com/Big-Data-Baseball-Miracles-20-Year/dp/1250063507). The Pirates will pay that guy for performance. They won’t pay for reputation. Chances are, they’ll find a guy who will perform almost equally as well. They’re good like that. They actually had a pretty good replacement when Russell Martin left.

    Having a “closer” is an instinctual, emotional decision. GMs feel they need a “closer.” Yes, Kenley’s good. Let the Dodgers make a reasonable offer to keep him while he’s good. But to throw money at him because he’s been good in the past or has been here a while….that’s not a rational decision. Reminds me of a union – rewarding seniority, not talent. Professional sports are about talent and performance, and is and should be merciless that way. I don’t think anyone should shed any tears for poor Kenley if he doesn’t get a raise from his current ten mil salary.

  21. I don’t see it.
    .
    I’d rather close by committee. Sometimes games are won and lost in innings other than the 9th. Who will be the first to figure that out?
    .
    In the mean time, if Jansen refuses a reasonable extension, start using him the way the Yankees use Betances – 74 games, 84 innings. You want to talk the best relief pitcher in the game, look at that guy and start talking.

  22. Yep I read that with interest Badger & thought of you.

    If players in the Clubhouse believed that the management lacked ambition & that was a reason for Grienke leaving, then it suggests that the players themselves knew they needed more to get over the line, which is what we’d been saying.
    I said at the time that I thought that Faz didn’t believe in the group & we’re not prepared to gamble away the top prospects on a potentially futile run at a WS.
    That is why we ended up with Lactose & not someone better.

    However, I also agree with your earlier statement above, about 2017 & beyond as the likely goal.
    I see this season as a holding job, give the rookies some experience and look forward to 17.

    As a result, I don’t extend Kenley, I trade him at the 16 Deadline for some decent prospects

    This is new for me, but that how I’m trying to view this season.
    A conduit season – from 15 to 17

  23. I find it very interesting that Houston Mitchell who loves to bash the Dodgers has picked them as having the best rotation in the NL West.. even after losing Greinke.

  24. I think they better find, or groom a guy, to take Kenley’s place in the bullpen, like Bum has said. Because Kenley has at times, been the only pitcher in the bullpen, that the Dodgers could count on, in the last three years. I thought of Badger as soon as I saw that article. And that is the first time, I have read, or heard, anything like this, and I wonder why we haven’t read anything about this before now. I also read that Wood wasn’t 100 percent healthy last year, and that is new to me. And I guess they have been working with Wood, with his wind up, and Wood has also been working on his wind up, in the off season. Did anyone hear or read, that Wood was not healthy last year, when he came to the Dodgers?

    1. Wood had a leg or foot problem… plus he’s young and was traded from his home team. It was tough times for him, but many commentators have formed an opinion about him based upon his tenure as a Dodgers last season. I am going to suggest that is very short-sighted.

      1. MM that deep bursing that Wood had, would certainly make a difference, and the only way something like that can heal, is give it time. I saw the Dodger program today, and Honeycutt seemed really excited about Wood, and his upside this year. Even though it looks like Wood, is without any real place, in the Dodger’s rotation right now. Wood probably will be in the Dodger’s rotation, at the begining of the season, because they want to take it slow with Ryu. And if they can help him to get a easier or better windup, that can help Wood with his control. I must admit, that I wasn’t to high on Wood, but I got excited about Wood this year, from what I have read, and from from what Honeycutt said. And Honeycutt never seems to excited, so that is great news. And Wood definitely has a good attitude, and that can go a long way.

        1. MJ, I have been consistent with how I feel about Wood. I have always supported him as member of the rotation. I have also consistently been castigated (nicely though) about my support. If I remember correctly, it was Dodgerpatch who indicated that he was against Wood being in the rotation because of his ever-changing arm slot. Well now there is an apparent explanation, and Wood believes that he has corrected it. I have steadfastly argued that in my opinion Wood was too young (25) to quit on only being one year removed from a 2.78 ERA, 1.142 WHIP, 8.9 K/9 and 3.78 K/BB. I believe Wood will actually start in the rotation until Ryu is ready. I then hope he makes it very hard on Roberts to take out of the rotation.

          1. I don’t think that was me that that criticized his unorthodox throwing motion. I liked that trade. He’s young and controllable and showed that he could be effective. I think the Dodgers bid pretty high for Olivera, maybe to keep him away from other teams…maybe because they overvalued him, which is why the Latin American scouting team got axed. But…they took that 28 million signing bonus for Olivera and got:

            Wood
            Thompson
            Montas
            Micah Johnson

            …I’ll take it. That’s a nice haul for 28 mil

            My concern with Wood is that I’m not sure that, with his delivery, he’s sustainable. I read somewhere on Fangraphs about his velocity declining and his SO rate declining. Maybe you’re right and he’s corrected a hitch in his mechanics. I hope so. He’s still not entitled to a slot in the rotation, and I have him at #6 right now. That’s the nice thing about that depth (and maybe the team culture under Roberts): nobody is guaranteed a spot who’s not Kershaw. He’ll have to go out and prove himself.

            If you feel he deserves a spot in the top 5, who has to get bumped?

    2. If it were that easy, they would have already produced another relief ace. For the past 3 years, the bullpen has been…well, inconsistent at best and crummy at worst – except for Jansen. So now, we are just going to groom another relief ace. So if it is so easy to do that, why haven’t they done it already?

      There are only so many guys with Jansen-quality stuff and makeup. I am not convinced that anyone who populated the Dodgers’ pen last year is it. Maybe one of the many phenoms who might matriculate from the farm system is the guy. I’d rather have the guy that we already know can do the job to stay and keep doing it.

      1. Dodger rick, it seems like to me, that the Dodgers offer Kenley a contract, and if he doesn’t take it, they are going to have to either groom a new closer, or trade for a new closer, and that is if the Dodgers haven’t thought or done, anything about this already. It is only a special player, that doesn’t want to test the free agent market. And I think it is to late to sign Kenley, like others have said here.

      2. Actually, I had a revelation when I looked at the top relief pitchers based on saves and WAR. There are a LOT of guys with Jansen quality stuff (or at least Jansen quality results…or better) that get paid and awfully lot less.

        I think Chris Anderson (not Reed, sorry about the confusion) and Montas are potential candidates, and there are two other guys in the system: Jacob Rhame and that Venegas guy or whomever, who have big time fastballs over 95.

        Offer Kenley 3 years at 39 mil. That’s a raise. It’s generous. If his agent declines and some idiot comes in and overpays, like the Dbags with Greinke..or that stupid Papelbon contract…oh well. In a year’s time the FO will have a better idea if Montas or Anderson or someone else is capable.

        There’s some validity to the notion of extending him now so the Dodgers don’t get in a bidding war during his FA year, I get AC’s point. Bora$$ probably wouldn’t go for that unless is was long term and expensive.

  25. And is it really shocking that a player or players would want management to trade prospects so that they could win NOW? Every player wants to win now, but but if you give them $35 million a year for six years, they forget about the winning now part. How Greinke!

    1. That might be right about Greinke, but maybe the Dbacks told Greinke, that they were going to go for it all, this year. And it does look like the Dbacks, are all in this year, as far as the Dbacks, are able to go. Most people in baseball, feel that the Dbacks went way to far, and will be licking there wounds, for years to come, and I think they are right.

      1. MJ, I would have more agreeable about the DBacks going all in had they signed Kendrick, and signed Leake with the home town discount. Continuing with Chris Owings at 2B and Rubby De La Rosa as #4 or #5 is not going for it. They shot it all with Greinke and Miller, and are hoping that the little increase in offense by Segura will offset the loss of Ahmed’s glove. Even if they had signed Leake and not traded for Miller, thus keeping Inciarte, they would have been better 2016. Inciarte is going to be a big loss for them. Tomas is not going replace Inciarte offensively or defensively.

        1. They moved Enciarte in part to make room for Tomas, who couldn’t handle 3B. Another reason I continue to be skeptical on the Cuban signings. I do think they’ll regret losing Swanson. Worrying about losing a second-round pick after you’ve just traded away the #1 overall makes you wonder if Dave and Tony haven’t been out in the sun too long.

        2. LAC I think they would have been better off, if they signed Leake, and kept there number one pick, in baseball, then trade for Miller. I think they gave to much away, in that trade with the Braves. I believe just like you, that they should have never gave up Inciarte. They gave away a player, that made them better, both offensively and defensively. If they could have afford more, I think they would have signed Howie, but that trade they made, convinced me, that they didn’t have the funds, because of what they gave up. AC they gave up the number one pick in all of baseball, in that trade with the Braves, not just Inciarte, so I think that, is quite a lot. I think they didn’t have any money left. I think you are right about Tomas, and Tomas costs a lot more then Inciarte too.

  26. My friend has a question and I do not know the answer. It is not about baseball. He wants to get Netflix. Which is the best, Apple 1 or Amazon Fire? Second question, he has his TV on one side of the wall and Wi Fi on the other side of the wall. Will it work without direct line of sight? I am 75 years old and not technology savvy. Thanks.

    1. There doesn’t need to be a direct line of sight for your wifi to work. Normally the wifi routers have a range, the better ones a range extender that can extend out to 1000 feet around your house. Wifi operates on a frequency. A line of sight would be an infrared port.

  27. I like what Alex Wood said today in the Slimes about being a starter:

    “All I need is the opportunity, and I’ll go from there,” Wood said. “I plan on throwing well and not giving them a choice.”

    I think there is going to be a lot of competition like that… and that’s a great thing!

  28. I think Wood is better than he showed last year. If given opportunity he might could go 28 starts and …. 149 innings …..with a ……. 3.5 ERA. That would help. But on this team? No. He feels like trade bait to me. Everybody but Seager and Kershaw feels like trade bait.
    .
    Yeah W, all those guys plan on having big years. You’ll never hear any of them say otherwise.
    .
    Competition is a good thing. And there will be some among the young players. But the starting lineup looks set to me. Look at the lineup in the last game of the year, the one Greinke lost (the bum) and you just might could pencil the same names in your scorebook for Opening Day. If Crawford is healthy he probably starts instead of Kike, but, maybe not. Frankly I’d like to see Kike go ape in ST and force his way into the starting lineup. But, I think we will open against James Shields in San Diego. That means Crawford/Ethier – and Utley? We going platoon out of the gate?
    .
    Do we really start the year with a 7 game road trip? That isn’t right.

  29. Badger, if given the opportunity he could also repeat what he did in 2014 when he was all of 23. 171.2 IP and 2.78 ERA. He also had 189.2 IP in 2015. So if your premise is, is that he is going to be given the opportunity, why only 149 IP? I can actually live with a 3.5 ERA. He is not Kershaw or Greinke. A 3.5 ERA for a back of the rotation pitcher is acceptable to most teams not named the Mets. I will go out on a limb and state that a 3.5 ERA will be better than both Cubs back of the rotation starts (Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks). It will be better than Peavy and Cain, and De La Rosa, and Ray/Bradley. So if Wood has a 3.5 ERA, he would have stayed in the rotation.

    Are only 21 year olds allowed to get better? Once you hit 24 you start going down hill? Getting a bone bruise on your landing foot may have had an affect on what he did as a Dodger. That explanation seems as plausible to me as the one that he just isn’t very good. Some of us are glass half full while others are glass half empty. But I am pleased that you do not think that Seager or Kershaw are trade bait. But what if Kershaw is 5-6 at the end of June with a 3.2 ERA like he was last year?

    1. AC that is what is better with the Dodger’s rotation, the 3,and 4s. Greinke is only one place in the rotation, and I like Greinke, but the Dodgers number 3, and 4, are going t be better this year. The Dodgers really didn’t have a number 3 and 4, in there rotation last year, because Ryu and MCCarthy were hurt. And I like Maeda better then MCCarthy as are number four. And like I have said, a Healthy Ryu, is more a number two, so Kazmir will be a number three, and I think Maeda will be the Dodgers number three, by the end of the year.

      1. MJ, if the Dodgers do not win this year, it will not be because of the pitching. It’s the other “ifs” that will become a problem…Puig, Pederson, Grandal, Seager, Kendrick/Utley/Kike’. Or everything will go perfect for the Giants. The Dodgers starting pitching is far superior to the 2015 Royals. The Dodgers just have to find their version of L. Cain, Moustakas, Hosmer, Gordon, Perez, and Zobrist. But I am naïve enough to think they will. We haven’t even seen the first ST game, so how can I think otherwise.

    2. AC – it’s not Wood. My feeling is simply that with all our starters, I’m not sure Wood will get the numer of starts he would need to get 170 innings. 149 is 5.1 innings over 28 starts, and 28 is being generous. It wouldn’t surprise me if Wood was in the bullpen.

  30. Okay I’ll make this my homepage if someone in here can tell me this. At Dodger stadium, what pickle relish is available Dill or Sweet? Only the correct answer will do. Do not guess.

    1. Pickle relish lolz? We’re not relish experts over here, but I’ll give you a hint. It comes in a packet. In all seriousness I believe it’s sweet, but I never pay attention to what kind it is because I am always too busy stuffing my face with Dodger dogs.

      1. Thank you both. I did think that it was Dill, but its been 35 years. I just ordered Dodger dogs from Amazon. Who knew? so I shall delight once again on March 3rd!!!!

    1. Not all bad. His Boscone wants him to sign now and not wait until July2 when the Dodgers can’t sign him. He might be able to play 3rd base and if so, I hope the Dodgers an sign him, and if not, I prefer they don’t sign him.
      .
      This Cuba thing really needs to get cleaned up. The Boscones do provide a service but 25% of a players salary for life is ridicules.

  31. Artieboy, the names I listed wasn’t meant to be proof of anything other than not all relief pitchers decline at 30. I can name numbers of current relief pitchers that are pitching well, well into their 30’s. And I can also name many pitchers that never make it to 30. Statements that relief pitchers start to decline at 30 as a stand-alone statement just isn’t true. Maybe Jansen doesn’t make it to 30, but do not tell me that when he becomes 30 he is necessarily going to decline and therefore not deserving of an extension.

    I like to reward Dodgers who have performed well as a Dodger for their entire career rather than sign a mercenary. Dodgerpatch said he would be comfortable with 3 years for $39 million. I would be fine with that, but since this is going to be such a poor excuse for a FA class, the standouts like Jansen are going to be given very lucrative contracts. I would expect both Jansen and Chapman to get contracts north of Papelbon $$$, but certainly not $100 million.

    As far as Eric Gagne goes, nobody liked hearing Welcome To The Jungle to the opening of the bullpen gates more than me. But I do not include Gagne in any conversation because he was juiced, and I lose respect for players that did that. My son did not juice up, and was held back by at least one of his teams because of his choice, so yes I am bitter about those that did.

  32. During the past four seasons, he has averaged over 33 saves a year. This while their middle-innings relievers and set-up men have been as reliable as a DeAndre Jordan free throw. This is a guy you want on your team, and the Dodgers need to let Jansen know it. However much they abhor paying big money to relievers, this is one they need and who s earned it.

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