Here’s the last bit of really important news Dodger fans were waiting for this offseason:
Kenley Jansen settles with #Dodgers at $4.3 million, $25K above midpoint, to avoid arbitration.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 11, 2014
With a arbitration hearing set in Tampa, Florida later this week, the Dodgers and star Closer Kenley Jansen have agreed to a 1-year deal that is $25,000 above the midpoint of the two offers. There is no doubt that Jansen is worth more than $4.3 million on the open market and is one of the best closers in all of baseball.
Given the Dodgers massive payroll this number amounts to, essentially, a rounding error. The Dodgers were smart not to push it too far with Jansen and his agents and avoid the headache and name calling that goes on during an arbitration hearing. With Jansen now locked in for this season the Dodgers can begin contract negotiations with Jansen’s representatives. While locking up a reliever early isn’t the smartest move, it is necessary for the Dodgers to show that they are interested in keeping Jansen around for the foreseeable future.
Kenley Jansen is perhaps the second best closer in all of baseball, Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel, and now, with the retirement of Mariano Rivera, possess the most devastating cutter in all of baseball. Jansen, 26, has thrown 222.1 innings over the past three seasons and has a career strikeout rate of 14.05 per 9 innings. By the way, those numbers are absolutely unheard of. His career ERA of 2.10 isn’t too shabby either. Any way you slice it, Kenley Jansen is one of the finest Closer’s in all of baseball and will be paid like one soon enough. Until then, he has $4.3 millon reasons to celebrate today.