Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen won’t discuss an extension during the season, which means he’s highly likely to test free agency next winter, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes. Jansen says there are currently no discussions between the two sides. “I’m not going to talk about it,” he says. “I’ll just want to talk about that in October.” The Dodgers reportedly did not discuss a long-term contract with Jansen while they were reaching their arbitration-avoiding $10.65MM deal with him in January. As MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk pointed out at the time, top Dodgers exec Andrew Friedman tended to focus on cheaper relief pitching when he was with the Rays. The Dodgers do, however, have a much bigger budget, despite their relatively thrifty offseason, and their interest in Aroldis Chapman before revelations of his domestic violence issue this past winter perhaps indicates somewhat of a willingness to pay heavily for a top reliever. Jansen certainly fits into the “top reliever” category, given his 2.41 ERA with a spectacular 13.8 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 last year and his long track record of success. Here’s more from the National League.
- The Colorado Springs Sky Sox, currently the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate, will soon meet with San Antonio’s city council to discuss potential plans to move the franchise there, Brent Briggeman of the Colorado Springs Gazette writes. “If the City of San Antonio, the 37th largest TV market in the country, calls and says they would like to talk about a downtown stadium and the possibility of bringing Triple-A Baseball to San Antonio, it would be imprudent as business owners not to listen,” say the Sky Sox in a statement. The move would, apparently, be contingent upon San Antonio building a downtown ballpark appropriate for Triple-A baseball. The Elmore Sports Group, which owns the Sky Sox, also owns the Double-A San Antonio Missions, currently a Padres affiliate. The Sky Sox have been in Colorado Springs for nearly three decades, serving as the Rockies’ longtime Triple-A home most of that time before a recent switch to the Brewers.
- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez expresses concern about the team’s bullpen in a three-part Q+A with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien (1, 2, 3). Gonzalez expresses confidence in the ability of both Arodys Vizcaino and Jason Grilli to close, and expresses a level of comfort with veterans Jim Johnson and Eric O’Flaherty. He does, however, hope that the team can improve its performance in the middle innings this season. Gonzalez says he doesn’t feel any more pressure than usual given that this will be the Braves’ last season in Turner Field before moving into a new ballpark next year. “I think you can do both – I think you can develop [young players] and I think you can win games,” he says. “I’m not going to say we’re going to go out and win 110 games or any of that crazy stuff, but as far as pressure I don’t feel any different from any other year.”
If Friedman doesn’t resign Jansen when he hits free agency I would expect Dodgers fans to start calling for his head. He is definitely the best reliever in the NL and can make a solid argument for the best in baseball. It will be interesting to see who lands the bigger contract, Jansen or Chapman. IMO Jansen will resign early in the offseason with the Dodgers and break Papelbon’s record. Chapman will be greedy and hold out for top dollar and will be let down when he signs late. It seems like the relief pitchers that sign early in free agency wind up with the most money. I have no proof to back this up and its pure speculation but Chapman comes off as a me me me type of player. If I had the talent of either one I would bet on myself and accept the QO year after year. $16mm would seem to be the ceiling for a closer.
You might want to hone up that blade, Friedman does not seem to believe in extensions. Most likely Jansen will go, and so will Turner.
Also, I think there might be a few RP’s in line ahead of Jansen as well. Not sure I’d go out on such a long limb and call him the best in the NL.
Idk, that seems pretty safe to me. Maybe you could make a case for Melancon, but Jansen IMHO is pretty clearly better
Sad to see the Sky Sox possibly relocate. Some great childhood memories in Colorado Springs watching some of those Cleveland Indians prospects develop before they turned the franchise around. Joey (Albert) Belle, Carlos Baerga, Nagy….even little known players now like Beau Allred and Efrain Valdez hold special places for me.
Stadium is getting old, and at an actual higher elevation than Denver I believe. Rockies even moved out. Still sad to see. Guess we’ll likely see an American Association team move in.
The Elmore Group which owns the Sky Sox apparently also owns the Helena Brewers, a short season Advanced Rookie team. Speculation has it that team could eventually be moved to Colorado Springs and may be a better overall fit.
Interesting. I wonder if the Sky Sox can draw interest with a low level rookie ball team. Lots of driving in that league…wow. Sky Sox have struggled with attendance. I’d have to imagine the operating cost would be astronomically higher than Helena. I just figured an independent team was logical. Even AA Texas League puts road games in Tulsa at best. Independent league would put Lincoln, Wichita, Metroplex…
Yeah the travel in that league is nuts. Helena is struggling with attendance though, and Colorado Springs has an existing stadium and a large market to work with. Might never happen, but it makes some sense considering no MLB franchises seem to want their AAA team at that altitude.
I think they might lose an organized team. The park is on the absolute wrong side of the city to be attractive, and I’m not sure they will draw in the tourist summer traffic. It’s the demands of the modern game catching up. In 1990…Colorado Springs was fine. Hard to compete when even AAA teams are getting solid downtown stadiums
I’d like to think the Braves bullpen would be fine if FrediG would be fired. He’s butchered the bullpen each year, in one way or another.
What the bullpen needs is for FrediG to be fired….
I could see Jansen being the only major signing of the Cubs next offseason. I have no way to know if Theo is even interested in spending large sums of cash on closers considering the current closer was a Rule V pick and the set up man was a minor part in a larger trade. So, this could be wishful thinking on my part, but I do think if Theo is ever going to ever buy a big named closer, this would be the offseason to do so. With so few other needs that probably won’t be addressed with the crop of upcoming free agent outside of Strasburg, this would seem to be the opportune time to to buy a big named closer if ever.
I don’t see it personally. I love Jansen, but Rondon is quietly very good, and if he has a good year this year, I don’t see any reason to spend huge money to relegate Rondon to a setup role as he goes through arbitration. Saves pay, and so that could mess up the clubhouse a bit I think (see Storen/Papelbon). Now, if Rondon struggles, then I could see it, but I’m hoping as a fellow Cub fan that that’s not the case lol
Of course “Fragile” Fredi isn’t worried about pressure… as long as his pay check and participation trophy show up every week, he just worries about “tipping his cap and moving on to the next one” as he always says. He is like the parent that thinks the most important part of youth athletics is the cheese sticks and juice box after the game. “We’re all winners”