Kenley Jansen avoids arbitration, signs with Dodgers for $4.3 million

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers closer will receive a raise of $3.788 million in 2014, agreeing to terms with the club on a one-year contract to avoid an arbitration hearing scheduled for Feb. 18 in Tampa.

GLENDALE -- The Dodgers on Tuesday agreed to terms with closer Kenley Jansen on a one-year deal, avoiding salary arbitration. Jansen in 2014 will make $4.3 million, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.

The settlement comes exactly a week before a scheduled hearing, which would have required all parties to travel to Florida.

The closer and the Dodgers exchanged salary figures on January 17, with Jansen filing at $5.05 million and the Dodgers submitting a salary of $3.5 million. The settlement is just north of the midpoint of $4.275 million.

On January 7, I predicted a salary of $4.4 million for Jansen in 2014. Matt Swartz at MLB Trade Rumors projected a salary for Jansen of $4.8 million.

Jansen said on Monday that he wasn't distracted by not yet having his contract done, having confidence in agent Adam Katz.

"I'm just trying to get ready for the season. I leave that to my agent. Right now is his season," Jansen said. "I'm still going to be a Dodger no matter what. Worst case scenario is that I have to go to Florida. All I'm doing is trying to help the Dodgers win. We all have a goal of getting to the World Series so my mind has to be ready for that, to have a great season."

Jansen, 26, made $512,000 in 2013 and with three years and 73 days of service time in the major leagues was eligible for salary arbitration for the first time. He was one of three Dodgers on Jan. 14 to file for salary arbitration, along with Clayton Kershaw and A.J. Ellis, both of whom signed.

Jansen had his finest season to date last year, going 4-3 with a 1.88 ERA in 75 games, with a career-high 111 strikeouts and just 18 walks in 76⅔ innings. He took over the closer role on June 11 and converted 28 of 32 save opportunities on the season.

He had a streak in 2013 of 27 consecutive batters retired, a hidden perfect game, from July 23 to August 8. Jansen also went 18 full appearances without a walk from May 25 to June 29, with 28 strikeouts in 18⅔ innings.

In the postseason Jansen allowed two runs in his 4⅓ innings, but also converted both save opportunities and struck out 10 of the 20 batters he faced.

The Dodgers haven't had a player go to an arbitration hearing since 2007, when the team beat Joe Beimel. They came the closest in 2009, when Andre Ethier and the team agreed to a contract just outside the room of his scheduled hearing.

The Dodgers have $249.025 million committed to 26 players in 2014, and including dead money have a total 2014 payroll of $256.4 million.

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