The Dodgers will be without Kenley Jansen through at least mid-April and possibly mid-May after their elite closer underwent surgery on his left foot this morning, but president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has indicated to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that the front office’s initial plan is to evaluate its in-house alternatives at closer (Twitter link).
Though the team may not ultimately take a reactionary approach, the Dodgers will indeed check in on free agents Francisco Rodriguez and Rafael Soriano, tweets Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. However, Shaikin adds that he feels it’s more likely the Dodgers will add a middle relief option than a closer, considering Jansen figures to miss a maximum of six weeks (barring setbacks) and is suffering from an injury that is not related to his arm.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports seems to agree with the thought that a reactionary move is unlikely, tweeting that it’d be a “shock” to see the team make a desperation move. Signing K-Rod would only happen if Rodriguez were to sign at the Dodgers’ price, Rosenthal notes, and that seems rather unlikely, considering the fact that Rodriguez and agent Scott Boras have reportedly been holding out for a two-year deal.
The Dodgers’ most experienced options to replace Jansen for the early portion of the season include J.P. Howell, Brandon League and Joel Peralta. Of that trio, only League comes with significant closing experience, though there’s no guarantee that that will play a significant factor in the decision. Paco Rodriguez, Juan Nicasio, Chris Hatcher and Pedro Baez represent 40-man options, while non-roster invitees David Aardsma and Sergio Santos have closing experience as well.