Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Kenley Jansen Comments On Possibility of Craig Kimbrel Joining Bullpen

Recently, Kenley Jansen has met his fair share of struggles. Moreover, free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel is still sitting out on the wire.

Jansen spoke with Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times about the Dodgers adding Kimbrel as his teammate. Certainly, his responses are as interesting to read as one might imagine.

Now if you take Jansen at his word – he’s all for the Dodgers suiting up Kimbrel. However, taking him at his word while examining them closely displays a guy who is battling some things right now.

So what does Jansen think of the possibility of the Dodgers signing Kimbrel?

“Why not?” Jansen said. “We want to win a championship, right?”

When I opened the article, I expected a lot longer initial response from the Dodgers closer who has 12 saves in 14 opportunities. Jansen’s responses didn’t get longer when asked if he is in any danger of losing his status as the finisher.

“That’s what I get paid for,” Jansen said. “I get paid for closing ballgames.”

Overall, pretty blunt stuff from the big man. Let’s move on to the next response. Jansen was asked about a change in role if the Dodgers were to sign Kimbrel. This is when it gets interesting.

“Why should I have to do anything different?” Jansen said. “That’s my question. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Indeed, that one sounds a little defensive on the part of Jansen. Things did not appear to get better when Jansen was asked about the alarming rate at which he is allowing home runs.

“That’s being a reliever, man,” he said. “You throw one inning. If I’m a starter, I can throw four more innings and get that thing down.”

And so there you have it. The Los Angeles Dodgers closer of the time being would be alright with them adding Craig Kimbrel but he does not want to be asked about his role, adjustments, or his propensity for allowing home runs lately.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments on Jansen, the role, and how the Dodgers would be best to manage the situation should they sign Kimbrel. It’s certainly interesting that we are heading towards mid-May and it’s still a worthy conversation worth having.

Staff Writer

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  1. There is no way Jansen is okay with the idea of Kimbrel coming to the Dodgers. He knows what it would mean.

    1. I wonder if in his age-31 season; with all the money in his pocket, and saves under his belt.. would a title with Kimbrel make Kenley happy? I have to think the answer is yes.

  2. If they want that ring they need all the pitching they can get especially in the pen. Sign em…

  3. Just as I suspected. It would have to be under Jansens conditions cause he’s one of those guys. Not a team player unless he’s the man. Well guess what Jansen why don’t you realize what’s went wrong with you and change. The stats are out there. Your velocity is down and mlb knows what you’re going to throw so how about mixing up locations, up down east west, mix in the slider more often. You’d think the geniuses would get together with Honeycutt and Jansen

    1. Agree completely. The bullpen woes contributed to two World Series losses and anyone can see that Jansen isn’t the dominant reliever he once was. Who cares what Jansen thinks? He’s making millions, if that doesn’t make him happy, too bad. He has incentives to improve such as an opt-out after this year and perhaps some competition for the closer spot will motivate him in a positive way. Do what’s best for the team and add that piece that’s been missing for several years now.

  4. I don’t believe the Dodgers brain-trust will sign Kimbrel, they are getting burned by the siginings of Kelly and Pollock, although according to Hershisher/Davis broadcast last night, Kelly had his best stuff albeit in a low-leverage situation.

    1. Assuming there’s even a chance we might go after Kimbrel does anyone know when the June date is where he’d be available to sign and not lose a draft pick? Auditions are going out for who else can close the ninth. A temporary fix might be Urias but maybe Baez who’s been great of late or Floro are options. But then who can we count on for the 6-8th innings. Strippling, maybe Ferguson and our ground ball lefty. Kelly can not be tested in close games. Four run leads ok. Yimi is still not there yet and may never be. Cingrani will have to see. Closing the ninth takes a special reliever. I’d love Kimbrel to set up and be used in games like the Sunday night game we lost. That was asking too much of Jansen whom pitched brilliantly Friday and Saturday but got hurt by those perfect bunts by the SD Padres. My other concern is that one of the other Nl contenders get Kimbrel and we don’t. You’re probably right the brain trust is a afraid of getting burned and going into the luxury tax penalty. Get May and Gonsolin up asap and give them a shot to see. Still want Kimbrel when it’s all said and done.

    2. The Dodgers do not have limited resources. They can afford to miss on players and recover nicely, especially now, as they’re getting ample production from front line players making a pittance on their first contracts, such as Bellinger, Bueller, Pederson, and now Verdugo. Sign Kimbrel and the Dodgers can play and beat anyone.

  5. Let’s see here…..what do the Rockies, Cardinals, Brewers and Giants all have in common?
    Answer…they are the 5 teams in the NL who have allowed more HR’s than the Dodgers.
    2019 HR Tracker, so far:
    Dodgers 63
    Opponents 50
    Yes, KJ has already given up too many at this point for a closer. However he is by no means the main culprit here at all. CK, Meada, Hill and a few others have had their hand in serving them up. Again, had the Dodgers not hit as many as they have, my guess is they might not be in 1st place right now.

    1. Agree. I could see Urias being effective in a manner that Hader was for Milwaukee.

    2. I think that Jimmy is on to something here. At least when Jansen gives up a home run in the 8th the Dodgers have a chance of answering back in the bottom of the 8th. One thing is obvious to me. The organization built up an offensive powerhouse so that in the playoffs, when the pitching collapses (again) the bats are there to make up for it.

  6. I don’t think Kimbrel signs with the Dodgers. Honestly, he seemed like a gas can in Boston. Wasn’t impressed. That said, I have always been concerned with Kenley. For all of the accolades for being the best closer in the game, I just don’t see it. He lives up in the zone and doesn’t throw hard. Hitters hit that. The Homer’s allowed do not surprise me at all.

  7. My guess is that Roberts is going to ride KJ until he has to be put away wet. Scary… Also, I agree with another comment… I can’t see them signing Kimbrel. If KJ continues to struggle, they may try to add a closer by August 1 (or sooner). Tigers’ Shane Greene? A’s Blake Treinen? The have the depth in their farm system to do something.

  8. First, KJ is a fine player, but he is not management; thus, his thoughts about adding Kimbrel must be taken with a grain of salt. Second, KJ also states he wants to be the closer, and “close” games. How many games has he failed to do this over the past few years? Third, at 31 years of age and with declining velocity on his fastball, and being a “team player”, KJ needs to defer at times to the best interest of the team that currently pays him. Fourth, and finally, KJ’s contract will expire at season’s end. Hopefully we will again go to a WS. Regardless, if we can sign Kimbrel for 2-3 years, KJ will still be in the closer role in 2020 barring any other developments. . We cannot count on KJ returning to the club. If he is smart, he will come back and join (I hope) Kimbrel in the BP – a powerful duo aided and abetted by Floro. If he decides to relocate, we still have Kimbrel , Floro and whoever else we might add to the mix.
    Go Blue!!!!!

  9. I feel like half of our losses is on the bullpen and we need to fix that if we want a ring. I say bring kimbrel, has that nasty knuckle curve and who knows maybe kenley struggles and kimbrel can take the closers role til Jansen is the dominant closer that he once was…

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