In addition to the offseason moves the Los Angeles Dodgers have made to upgrade their bullpen, the team is still believed to be in search of a late-inning reliever.
The list of relievers who fit that description are Alexi Ogando and Francisco Rodriguez, among others. However, no longer available is Casey Janssen, who signed a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
Source: #Nationals sign free-agent reliever Casey Janssen, one year with mutual option, $5M guaranteed including option buyout.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 28, 2015
Though not as prolific of a move as signing Max Scherzer, Janssen provides a replacement for Tyler Clippard, who the Nationals traded to Oakland.
Janssen began the 2014 season on the disabled list, but still managed to appear in 50 games and convert 25 saves with the Toronto Blue Jays, who he’s spent his entire eight-year career with. The Southern California native said in November the Dodgers were on the list of teams he was interested in and cited a return to Los Angeles as being an attractive option.
Although Janssen has worked as the Blue Jays closer over the last three seasons, he conceivably could’ve filled the setup man void for the Dodgers, as ESPN’s Jim Bowden noted when he identified the Dodgers as the best fit for Janssen. As it stands, the Dodgers have internal options in Pedro Baez, Chris Hatcher or Brandon League to turn to as a setup man, though neither should be considered a lock to assume the role.
Baez is still young and needs to develop additional pitches to complement his fastball, Hatcher may not be ready for the responsibility and League has been wildly inconsistent since joining the Dodgers.
Janssen is a career 29-24 with a 3.52 ERA and 90 saves in 389 games (22 starts). Additionally, he’s appeared in a minimum of 50 games over the last five seasons.