Atlanta Braves closer Kenley Jansen was asked about a possible return to Los Angeles, and didn’t shy away from the question.
Kenley Jansen is a free agent this offseason. As much as he’d like to return to Atlanta, the Braves only have so much money to go around, and Raisel Iglesias is signed long-term already.
Having two pitchers with closing experience in Iglesias and Jansen was an embarrassment of riches this year. Keeping that system in place will be tough to navigate, especially with Dansby Swanson as the Braves top priority this offseason.
So, Jansen is very much available. When asked about his looming free agency by TMZ — and a potential Los Angeles return — Jansen smiled and answered.
“We’ll see what’s out there,” Jansen said. “I can tell you all great things about Atlanta. Atlanta is awesome. The fans, the people, the organization. I had a great time there, and we had a great season.”
Could Kenley Jansen leave Braves for Dodgers?
Surely, if the Dodgers target Kenley Jansen, it would be a natural fit. Los Angeles’ bullpen had its own issues on the back end this season. Replacing a presence like Jansen was not easy. Craig Kimbrel certainly did not do the trick. So, why not bring Jansen back to a familiar place?
Jansen is a three-time All-Star and has 30 saves in eight of the last nine seasons. He has postseason experience, and won a World Series with the Dodgers back in 2020. He’s a back end of the bullpen presence that Dave Roberts’ squad is currently lacking.
Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopoulos made it clear that he wants to bring back Jansen this offseason.
“Iglesias came in and he was a great reliever that Snit had available in the 7th or 8th. Being a good bullpen is about having depth…We have Iglesias under contract. He’s a fantastic reliever with experience in all kinds of roles. But if we can get a guy like Jansen back, that would be phenomenal,” Anthopoulos said.
A battle is brewing between these two postseason rivals.