After weeks of unbearable anxiety, a full-blown wedding in Curaçao, a lengthy honeymoon, an unofficially announced five-year / $80 million deal (but officially acknowledged by Cot’s), the Dodgers have officially announced the re-signing of 29-year-old Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.
Although Jansen wasn’t quite as outspoken about wanting to remain with the Dodgers as was recently re-signed Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, he most certainly did – as evidenced by his willingness to accept less money to remain in Los Angeles.
“The Nationals’ presentation was exceptional and generous and for more money,” said Adam Katz, Jansen’s agent. “They conducted recruitment of this player in a high caliber professional way. Kenley and I were very impressed. At the end of the day Kenley loves Los Angeles, his Dodger family, the fans here and although money was a factor, it wasn’t the most important thing.”
To create room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated infielder Micah Johnson for assignment.
Although the Turner and Jansen deals were by far a top priority for Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi this off-season, they are still in need of a so-called everyday second baseman and bullpen help – this with spring training now only five weeks out. And while rumors of a trade for Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier are still being floated around, it appears that the Twins’ asking price in the form of top prospects may be a bit too steep for Friedman and Zaidi.
Among the names being linked to a possible trade for Dozier – at least by the Twins – are Dodgers number one ranked prospect Jose DeLeon, who made his MLB debut with the Dodgers on September 4, 2016 and won both of his two MLB starts, and 20-year-old outfielder Alex Verdugo, who was selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Arizona. As it stands right now, there is every reason to believe that DeLeon will be in the Dodgers starting rotation on Opening Day and Verdugo a likely September 1 call-up, if not sooner.
But Jose DeLeon and Alex Verdugo – and second base and bullpen help – are all stories for another day. For now, at least, Dodger fans can sleep a little better at night knowing that Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen are money in the bank.