Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen is set to hit free agency after his one-year, $10.65 million contract expires at the end of the 2016 season, per Spotrac

Having spent his entire seven-year career with the Dodgers, Jansen revealed to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball that he isn’t automatically committing to Los Angeles in the winter:

LA’s nice. LA’s great. LA gave me the opportunity. LA converted me when I failed as a catcher. I’m grateful about it, and will never forget LA. But at the same time, we’ll have to see what’s good for the family… It’s going to be a tough decision. It’s not going to only be me.

Jansen originally joined the Dodgers organization as a catcher, though he was unable to find success at the plate in the minors. It was there he moved from behind the plate to the mound, joining the Dodgers bullpen in 2010. 

After two years as a middle reliever and setup man, Jansen became the team’s closer in 2012 and hasn’t relinquished the role since. 

Over the past five years, the Curacao native has recorded 177 saves, including 44 in 2014. In total, his 186 career saves are a Dodgers all-time record. He also hasn’t recorded an ERA over 2.76 in that span and is experiencing a career year in 2016. 

In 65 games, Jansen has already tied his career high with 44 saves while posting an ERA of 1.72, which will be the lowest of his career in a season in which he appeared in over 25 games. 

It warranted his first-ever All-Star selection and has helped the Dodgers open up a four-game lead in the National League West over the San Francisco Giants entering Friday night. 

He doesn’t have the most overpowering stuff compared to other premier closers around the game such as Aroldis Chapman of the Chicago Cubs and Jeurys Familia of the New York Mets. But a fastball that tops out around 94 miles per hour is supported by a seldom-used slider that is more than 10 miles per hour slower, per Fangraphs, which has made him so tough to figure out:

Excelling at a position that has become a hot commodity in a game that stresses pitch counts from its starters, Jansen will surely garner plenty of attention during free agency this winter. 

If a team that is desperate for late-inning help comes along, a bidding war might decide where Jansen lands in 2017. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

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