kenley jansen

kenley jansen


Reliever Kenley Jansen spent the first 12 years of his MLB career with the Dodgers. Could he reunite with them in 2024?

The Los Angeles Dodgers stole most offseason headlines by spending more than $1 billion on player talent ahead of 2024. They’re clearly in win-now mode, and it’ll all but likely stay that way as the calendar creeps closer to the July 30 trade deadline. Could current Boston Red Sox closer (and former Dodger) Kenley Jansen be on their radar as a bullpen upgrade?

Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer ranked the top 10 MLB trade chips in 2024. Jansen ranked ninth overall. Outside of the Dodgers, the San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers were named as potential landing spots for the right-hander.

Trade rumors have swirled around Jansen throughout the winter and will likely continue through the summer. “I just have to have the mindset that I need to get ready regardless, right?” he told the Boston Globe’s Tara Sullivan on February 28. “So all the buzz that’s going on around me, all that stuff, it’s not time for me to focus on it.”

Jansen will earn $16 million in 2024 in the second season of a two-year, $32 million deal he signed with Boston ahead of the 2023 campaign.

Kenley Jansen on the Los Angeles Dodgers Would Be a Familiar Sight

The 2024 campaign is Jansen’s 15th MLB season. The 36-year-old’s story wouldn’t be complete without discussing the 12 years he spent with the Dodgers to begin his career.

He was a dominant force at the back of Los Angeles’ bullpen for a long time. Jansen racked up 705 innings in 519 appearances for the Dodgers. It led to a 37-26 record with a 2.37 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 350 saves and 1,022 strikeouts. He earned three All-Star Game selections, two Reliever of the Year Awards and a World Series title during his tenure in Hollywood.

There was also a fifth-place finish in the 2017 National League Cy Young Award voting. This campaign resulted in Jansen posting a 5-0 record with a 1.32 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 41 saves and 109 strikeouts in just 68.1 innings. This was his first season immediately after signing a five-year, $80 million deal with L.A. It’s still one of the richest contracts ever for a relief pitcher.

The Trade Status of Kenley Jansen Will Depend on How the Red Sox Perform

Jansen seems like a prime trade candidate. The veteran enjoyed an All-Star campaign in 2023 with the Red Sox. As long as he remains healthy and productive, Boston might not have to eat much of what would remain of his $16 million salary in a potential trade, too.

It’ll really all come down to what’s happening in Boston. All signs point to them being trade-deadline sellers, but that won’t become clear for another couple of months.

The American League East is expected to be a competitive division. The New York Yankees are looking to return to October. Meanwhile, the Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays are all fresh off postseason appearances in 2023. Projections aren’t expecting much from the Red Sox this year. That’s why they play the game, though.

But if things go as expected for the club, Jansen will be an attractive rental player for a contender. And since the Dodgers have proven they can do just about whatever they want, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them involved in the potential sweepstakes.

Matt Musico covers Major League Baseball for and has been writing about baseball for the past decade. He’s the creator of MLB Daily Dingers, and his work has been featured on numberFire, MLB Trade Rumors, Bleacher Report, Elite Sports NY, and Yahoo! Sports. More about Matt Musico

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