I am excited to announce that Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner have re-signed with the Dodgers! I did not think that either one of them was going to re-sign, but I’m not always correct. On December 13, I found an article on Dodgers.com titled, Source: Jansen to LA; Turner Reportedly Follows. The article states that Jansen signed a 5-year deal for $80 million with an op-out after 3 years, and Turner signed a 4-year deal for $62 million. There has not yet been a press conference announcing either of these signings, and I think it is because Dave Roberts and Adrian Gonzalez are in Dubai this week. You can read about that here.
Jansen, the new Dodgers saves leader, decided that he wanted more time to collect even more saves for his team. Jansen’s agent said that the Washington Nationals offered Jansen a higher deal than the $80-million over 5 years that the Dodgers offered, but Jansen turned it down, preferring the comfort of staying with his team. His contract has an opt-out option after 3 years, which will be when he is 32-years-old.
Jansen played extremely well in 2016, he set a new Dodgers save record, and even made the All-Star team. He struck out 104 batters and walked only 11. As if that is not enough, Jansen’s ERA was second best in the National League at 1.83. He held the opponents to a .150 batting average, which is the best in the Major Leagues. His WHIP was also the best in the Major Leagues at 0.67.
Jansen has been with the Dodgers for his entire career. He was a catcher from the Philippines when the Dodgers signed him, and at the Double-A level, he made the switch to pitcher. As a catcher he had a terrific arm, and now as the closer, he averages the mid-nineties, and his cutter is so sharp that even his catchers have trouble handling it.
Justin Turner would have been very hard to replace if he had signed with another team. There were rumors going around that the Dodgers would trade for the White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier, but that would have involved sending away another player, something that management does not want to do. I’m sure that Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi along with the rest of the Dodgers’ front office were trying to figure out what they would do if they lost Turner. I was trying to figure out how they would fix the third base problem if he signed somewhere else, but thankfully, we won’t have to cross that bridge. Even though this year was a record year for Turner, there was not a high demand in the free-agent market.
Turner reportedly followed Jansen’s lead of re-signing with the Dodgers when he signed a 4 year deal for $64 million. Turner played very well against right-handed pitching, with a .305 batting average and 22 homers. Turner made only 9 errors the entire year and had a .972 fielding percentage. He is just a terrific player, and he has fantastic reflexes, which helped his fielding a lot.
The Dodgers have not yet announced either of the signings yet, but as I said at the beginning, Dave Roberts is in Dubai. I will post when the Dodgers officially announce the signings. As always GO BLUE!!