Craig Kimbrel trade: Braves look even better for signing Kenley Jansen

Kenley Jansen, Atlanta Braves. (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Kenley Jansen, Atlanta Braves. (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Atlanta Braves may have actually won the Craig Kimbrel trade simply by signing away Kenley Jansen from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

With Kenley Jansen signing with the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers countered by trading for former Braves closer Craig Kimbrel in an early spring trade with the Chicago White Sox.

Jansen had spent his entire big league career in Dodger Blue before turning heel. Though his brother played in the Braves organization and Atlanta has long had a strong connection to his native Curaçao, Jansen had been synonymous with the Dodgers bullpen for years. While Kimbrel grew up in Braves Country and played for the team, here is why Atlanta may have won the trade.

According to Baseball Reference, Kimbrel and Jansen are essentially the same player. In short, the Dodgers traded away a valuable outfielder in A.J. Pollock to adequately replace Jansen in the Los Angeles bullpen.

Atlanta Braves won the Craig Kimbrel trade made by the Los Angeles Dodgers

With Kimbrel being in a contract year, there are no guarantees he plays in Dodger Blue beyond this season. While he is destined for Cooperstown and is the better player over Jansen, Baseball Reference does not lie on important issues like this. Factor in the Dodgers having to give up a player in Pollock to get Kimbrel, and one can see how desperate they were about replacing Jansen.

With these two contending NL franchises truly starting to hate one another, we simply cannot wait for their two series this regular season and hopefully a third straight NLCS meeting. While the Dodgers had long been the Braves’ postseason nemesis, Atlanta finally got one past them last October. These are two ballclubs who have every reason to go out and win the 2022 World Series.

There is so much baseball to be played this season. All the while, it remains to be seen who will assert themselves as a most worthy adversary of the these two Senior Circuit juggernauts. Though they have loaded rosters, what sets these two teams apart from many is the depth and dominance of their bullpens. Both are more than capable of shortening games one after another.

Who knew that the Jansen signing would have this much of an impact in the NL bullpen arms race?

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