Should the Dodgers Trade for Craig Kimbrel With Kenley Jansen Showing Signs of Faltering?

Kenley Jansen had his second opportunity in less than a week to pull the Dodgers into a tie for first place in the NL West, but instead blew his second consecutive save and the Dodgers would go on to lose to the Giants 4-2.

We discuss Kenley Jansen’s rough night at The Ravine and if it’s time for the Dodgers to consider their options when it comes to closing games. Plus, Kenley Jansen gets booed off the mound at Dodger Stadium.

Next, with Kenley Jansen showing signs of faltering and considering his rocky postseason performances in recent years, we discuss if the Dodgers should trade for elite reliever, Craig Kimbrel. Plus, how Craig Kimbrel will impact LA’s World Series chances if he’s traded to a contender.


In his resurgent 2021 season, Kimbrel has posted a 0.51 ERA with 22 saves in 37 games with the Cubbies. But with Chicago looking to clean house and sell at the deadline, and the veteran closer eligible for free agency after the season, the stars could align for Craig Kimbrel and the Dodgers.

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Doug McKain

Doug McKain is a lifelong Dodger fan and hosts Dodgers Nation’s “DNpostgame” show online. He also hosts Dodgers DougOut and the LA Sports Report on YouTube. DMAC is also a rabid Lakers fan, and lover of all Los Angeles sports.


  1. yes. trade him. trade him now. he just blew another one for gods sake. why the f*** did Roberts put him out there after what he did last night. get rid of Roberts too please.

    1. William,

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Also time for Belli to hit the minors until he can figure out how to hit again.

  2. I was wrong, last nite wasn’t the worst loss of the year, tonite was the worst of the year. But there are 64 more potential save opportunities for Jansen to blow, so there will be worse losses I suppose

    1. Both of these losses were not only by Jansens blown saves, but Bellinger once again was 0 for 4 with NOTHING in his last 25 AB’s. Add that obviously blatant blown call by that 1st base ump on a check swing and there ya have it. Unexcusable for Roberts to bring Jansen back in tonight after he threw 27 pitches the night before.

  3. If Mookie Betts had played we would have won. If the second Baseman Nuesy had played second with a great throw by Taylor right we would have won. If the first base umpire called the 2-3 count in the 9th we would have won. What a bad game for the Dodgers. I am not surprised

    1. I am absolutely disgusted with Jansen and Dave Roberts. We should have won 3 out of 4 against the Giants, but the Jansen and Roberts duo threw away games 3 and 4 in strikingly similar fashion. In both games the starters gave up only one run, and Trienen came in and did his job. Then DR sends Hurricane Jansen in for the ninth inning and destroys everything. Cut, trade, or bench Jansen. Fire Roberts. I’m sick of this recurring twilight zone episode. Are you listening AF? You are putting together great teams, two guys are throwing games away. This series against the Giants was big. And it was blown up by two guys.

  4. And a former Dodger reliever shuts Dodgers out in the 9th inning. Giants got key hits when the 1st base umpire extended the game with that horrific missed call of a check swing. If I were Roberts I would have Dodgers have this game under protest. Missed opportunities by the offense didn’t help either.

  5. Who knew that the Dodgers “biggest win of the year” Tuesday night would be such a momentum-builder…for the Giants!
    When Jansen came in to pitch the 9th tonight, I was literally sick to my stomach. You could smell failure and you knew that Roberts was not going to take Jansen out, if he struggled early in the inning. It was Jansen’s game to win or lose.
    Even factoring in the alligator-arm catch by Neuse and the blown call on the Ruf strikeout, this game had Kenley’s stamp all over it.
    Even when he did something right, it came out wrong. Roberts made nothing but excuses for Jansen in the post game interview–very reminiscent of Roberts’ comments regarding Yu Davish after game 7 of the 2017 WS. Thank the Baseball Gods that Roberts resisted the temptation to have Jansen redeem himself after the game 4 WS meltdown last year and Jansen was no where to be found in games 5 or 6.
    Jansen is in his 12th season with the Dodgers and the Kenley Jansen Fatigue Factor is off the charts, is immeasurable.

  6. Folks, it may or should be safe to say that after tonight’s game, Jansens days as a closer should be over. Everyone here I believe would say something similar but Roberts apparently believes otherwise. , even after tonight’s loss.

  7. The Dodgers didn’t lose tonight because of KJ. They didn’t lose because Bellinger has forgotten how to hit or the first base umpire blowing a call that would have ended the game. No. This loss is entirely on Roberts shoulders. When you mess with a scorpion don’t be surprised when it stings you. Roberts should have known better than to put Jansen in after two blown save opportunities. But is it all that surprising? If we have learned anything about Roberts tenure as the Dodger manager he is more loyal to the players, and their egos/feelings than he is to the team as a whole or their fans. If he was concerned at all about the team and its fans, he would have removed Jansen when he loaded the bases. But, that would have potentially hurt poor KJs feelings and ego. And what about pitchers like Urias and Buehler who pitched a fantastic game? How must they have felt to see Jansen blow the save?

    Last year, any competent manager could have led the Dodgers to a World Series championship when you look at the talent on that team. But, this year will require Roberts to make much better decisions than he has been making. His first decision is after today is make someone else the official closer. But, if he doesn’t all of a sudden become a smarter manager the Dodgers won’t even small another NL West pennant, much less another World Series, He simply has got to do better. Right now, Bellinger, Lux and Jansen aren’t the only ones letting the team and its fans down, Dave Roberts needs to step it several notches if they have any kind of hope of accomplishing anything worthwhile this year. And for the Dodgers the only thing worthwhile is a World Series championship. After all, the Dodgers aren’t like teams like the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers expect to win championships, not just hope to make the playoff’s as a wildcard team.

    1. As much as can blame Roberts for putting Jansen in last nights game only to lose again. Robert’s is the least of the problem. We have no closer. GM has only a few days to correct the closer situation before another team grabs a top guy. Do it today.
      This is a recurring nightmare like ground hog day….
      Jansen is history and maybe a good late inning guy every other day max. Make him earn back 8 inning..he is now a 7 th inning guy at best.
      If it means getting another top pitcher..Belli is in the package as well. We need help…Ruiz top C can be a top chip.

      1. Yes. Snell was pulled in game 6 and Walker Buehler was set to pitch game 7 if necessary.

  8. I won’t watch anymore games that Kenley is inserted into late.
    Starters ought to be pissed after he blew what would have been Urias’s’ 13th win and Buhler’s 12th. No way Roberts could trust him in the play offs anymore. That is, if they make the playoffs.

  9. Jansen has to go, if we don’t get anyone let Treinen close and try Jansen in center, maybe he can hit.

  10. The evidence is plain and clear Jansen is no more effective at closing and Roberts us no manager and Bellinger is no hitter al things must be corrected I would like to know when to expect Seager to be playing if he had been cleared to play by the doctors and trainers. Roberts will never use small ball as a strategy when it could be very effective. I hate seeing the Dodgers allowing countless stolen bases and very rarely do we steal or bunt. Roberts is not a good manager plain and simple!!

  11. Not sure why Trienan did not close our 9th inning Wednesday or last night. During both games he was effective, efficient, and the Giants could not do anything with what he was throwing. One would think that a logical decision would be to put Trienan back out out in the 9th, especially after the night before. Not sure why Jansen was on the mound allowed to decompensate through multiple batters before that disgraceful call was made by an umpire (who is in desperate need of an opthamologist appointment and/or professional ethics.) The Giants struck out and the game should have been over…but I digress…the fact of the matter is that the 9th inning was messy from its inception. This was about redundant decision making that netted the same result and a jacked up call.

    How about those Rockies?

  12. Hard to argue with all the comments. There is one thing I don’t understand though. Jansen suffers all this abuse for his failures to execute but Bellinger’s barely get a murmur of protest? Bellinger hasn’t hit since July 2019 and we’re just waiting for him to come out of his slump?
    You could argue that Jansen’s shortcomings wouldn’t be so glaring if Bellinger carried his share of the load.

    1. Fair point. Bellinger is too Hollywood. You could tell early on by just his face and personality he’d eventually succumb to that

  13. Understandably, so much focus and discussion regarding the Dodgers losing 3 of 4 to the Giants centers on the BP issues overall, Jansen’s issues and Roberts’ decision-making. But even acknowledging some of the comments regarding Bellinger’s struggles at the plate, the Dodgers’ team offense in the series was just abysmal in 3 of the 4 games. 2 runs scored in the 1st inning of game 1, then a complete shutdown the rest of the game. Only 2 runs scored in Game 3 and 3 runs scored last night. Other than Game 2, the Dodgers inability to manufacture any offense late in the 3 losses was glaring. The Dodgers had multiple rally chances last night and couldn’t pad the lead and you could smell that was going to cost them, once Buehler left the game. Compare that to the Giants who were able to score late runs in their 3 wins, even though their lineup is missing Belt, Crawford and Longoria.
    For a team that is still 20 games above .500 and is still likely to finish the regular season with one of the best records in MLB, the Dodgers have a laundry list of things to clean up if they are to repeat.

  14. With respect to Tim’s comment yes Bellinger’s hitting is just as bad as Jansen’s pitching – but at least Bellinger makes some contribution with defense and baserunning but how Roberts can keep bringing in Jansen for crucial 9th innings and then leaving him in when he should be replaced – is beyond my understanding – After last night’s disaster Jansen should have to prove himself in 6th or 7th inning before he is put out there in 9th inning save situation


  16. In response to Roberts comments about Dodger fans booing Jansen,…. there’s only 3 things that Dodger fans can do at the stadium,… beer/hotdogs, cheer or boo,…
    How should the fans respond to blowing games that they should have won!!

  17. Let’s keep 100% real everybody so quick to say trade KJ wow!!!! Over these 2 games that unfortunately wasn’t his night he is human & to top it off with with empire missing an obvious check swing that went across the plate! Let me remind you KJ 333 regular season saves is not accomplished by luck to you so called Dodgers FAN Booing him off KJ deserves better respect from you fake Dodger fan!!

    1. It’s not 2 games buddy it’s 3 games in a row his blown and if he hadn’t blown those 3 we would have been up 3 games in the division but now we are down 3. Just because he has 333 saves whats should we do just give a free pass and say do whatever you want your job is safe for ever?

  18. There’s a number of problems with this club right now. The list has to include the need for another starter, the need for a legitimate closer, another right handed hitter, injury list complications (Betts, Lux, Seager), someplace to put “Auto-Out” Bellinger in the batting order (6-8 spot) so he does less damage, and perhaps the FO having a talk with Roberts about changing how he has been handling the team. It’s not just one guy, it isn’t just one problem, but the recent series with the Giants put the condition of this club in the spotlight. The question is, what will the FO do about it.

  19. They can’t get rid of Jansen but they need to use him earlier. They need to pay whatever the Cubs ask for Kimbrel otherwise they are looking at a playoff one and done.

    1. Excuse me for some tongue in cheek humor, but having Jansen as our club’s opener, would mean starting most games featuring him, with a 3-4 run deficit.

  20. Yes get rid of Jensen Designate for assignment. Or trade him to the asstros just like Baez. We need a new manager too. Are you reading this, Friedman¿?????????

  21. Trade, cut, or find another position for KJ. Can’t ever allow him to take the mound again. NEVER! And take his best friend (30) out of the dugout for a while for decision making therapy. This may sound harsh but at this point the ship must be righted.

  22. What a mess! There is something wrong with Robert’s for bringing Jansen in to blow another save. Along with Bellinger and an anemic offense Roberts is to blame for last night’s loss. And Roberts blatantly said after the game that Jansen will remain the closer. That’s absurd!

  23. Yes Roberts dropped the ball by leaving Jansen in and repeating it again thrusday ! Something needs to be done with Roberts !!! Bellinger needs to be dropped to Oklahoma till he figures out how to hit !!! These are facts ! Come on and open your eyes for God’s sake .

  24. Yes Roberts dropped the ball by leaving Jansen in and repeating it again thrusday ! Something needs to be done with Roberts !!! Bellinger needs to be dropped to Oklahoma till he figures out how to hit !!! These are facts ! Come on and open your

  25. Like I’ve said all along, Roberts is a terrible manager, the worst in baseball. Does not learn from previous mistakes, refuses to change. Much like Bellinger.

    1. You are exactly right Greg. I am sure that Jansen is on his last year as a Dodger. He has no control and it is proven with his gravy pitches that have the Boys in Blue still in second place, when the two blown games would have had them tied or on top. Roberts has NO ability to learn from his mistakes. Why would he have just left Trienen in to finish those two games as he barely got warmed up in the 8th inning of both games and could have finished both games. Why put in a wild arm that has no control with such close games. Leave Jansen forr games when the Boys in Blue are up by 10 runs.

  26. Firstly, Bellinger needs to be sent to AAA to try and regain his form. He is lost and everyone, including himself, knows it. KJ is a big disappointment. We need a consistent closer who can be counted on…not someone who gets hot then loses everything, without much warning. We have others who could close for us.

  27. Should they trade for Cubs Pitcher Kimbrel absolutely. Jansen is a top line pitcher but having two closers is a necessity if the Dodgers are going to repeat as World Champs.

  28. Jansen is a liability. Worse is Roberts. We would be working on our third or fourth championship if Roberts wasn’t at the helm.

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