It's nearly salary arbitration season, with the filing date on week from today, on January 14. The Dodgers have three players eligible for arbitration this winter, including closer Kenley Jansen, who is about to start making some real money.
Jansen at three years, 73 days of service time is arbitration eligible for the first time. He made $512,000 under team control in 2013.
With nearly two full years as closer — and 62 career saves — Jansen will get a bump over the garden-variety setup man. The Dodgers' most recent experience with a closer through the arbitration process was Jonathan Broxton, but at his three-year mark (entering 2009) he only had 19 career saves.
Broxton earned $1.825 million in 2009, his first year in salary arbitration. Jansen will earn much more.
Here is a look at a few comparable closers to Jansen in recent years, at similar service times.
|Recent closers comparable to Kenley Jansen|
Clippard was a Super Two but needed that extra service time to surpass Jansen in strikeouts, in 127 more innings.
Perez, now a teammate of Jansen, was also a Super Two but his innings and saves line up quite nicely with Jansen at this point in their careers. Jansen also has an ERA a full run lower and 137 more strikeouts than Perez.
Jansen and Bailey have similar run-prevention numbers, though Jansen's huge edge in strikeouts give him a bump over Bailey's $3.9 million made in 2012.
Matt Swartz at MLB Trade Rumors predicted a salary for Jansen of $4.8 million in 2014, but I'll stick to the range between Bailey and Perez's Super Three campaign.
My guess for Jansen in 2014 is a salary of $4.4 million, though with two more arbitration years in 2015-16 it wouldn't surprise me to see a multi-year contract explored.
As a reminder, the date to watch as with most arbitration cases is January 17. That's the day salary figures are exchanged, and often a pseudo deadline of sorts for deals to be made.
Whatever the final number for Jansen, he will lead the most expensive bullpen in Dodgers history. In 2014 the team will, in addition to Jansen, pay $10 million to Brian Wilson, $7.5 million to Brandon League, $7 million to J.P. Howell (including all of his signing bonus), $2.3 million to Perez, and $1.8 million to Jamey Wright.