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Kenley Jansen says Dodgers tried to bring him back

The former Dodgers closer chose the team he grew up rooting for

Twitter: @KevinMcAlpin

It’s a few days later and this one still stings.

Dodgers camp is underway and their superstar closer is in Florida, getting ready to suit up for another team.

On Friday, Dodgers fans were shocked to learn that one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the franchise chose another team. Kenley Jansen, who still was a free agent, sent shockwaves through baseball after he signed with the Atlanta Braves.

On Friday night, Jansen posted a heartfelt message to Instagram, saying goodbye to the Dodgers. He made another post on Saturday, sharing that he grew up watching and rooting for the Atlanta Braves. In 1999, the Braves signed his brother Ardley. Jansen shared that every season he’d watch his brother play and would dream of wearing a Braves jersey.

Well, he finally got his chance to do so.

On Sunday, Jansen spoke with the media for the first time. He talked about his decision to sign with Atlanta and whether or not the Dodgers made a push to bring him back. Justin Toscano of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provided Jansen’s full answer.

Yes, of course. Talking to Andrew (Friedman), I don’t think Andrew is going to lie to me to my face. When the lockout was over, Doc, Dave Roberts texted me. It was literally over and he texted me a few minutes later and is like, ‘Are you coming back?’ I couldn’t comment on that one. But yeah, like I said, it was awesome. It was awesome. They made the moves over there, they tried to bring me back, but unfortunately I had to make a decision. I chose being with the Braves.

Here’s more from Jansen, courtesy of Toscano.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke recently about losing Jansen, saying that timing of everything played a role, ultimately leading to Jansen’s decision to leave.

“That’s part of the hurdles, the business side of things,” Roberts said to reporters. “Where he’s got to maximize his earnings and do what’s best for him and his family, which he’s clearly said. And then, as an organization, we’ve got kind of — timing is important. And so as we continue to move forward, which we are responsible to do, it just didn’t line up with the timing.”

On Sunday, Jansen reiterated something very similar in regards to the timing of everything.

“Two days before I signed with the Braves, I started to feel that the Dodgers had to make stuff happen…That’s when I had to make the decision to choose someone else, and I chose the Braves.”

At the end of the day, it sounds like Jansen was ready for a new chapter, which you totally have to respect. He grew up rooting for the Braves. He grew up idolizing players from the Braves. Now, he gets to finally wear that uniform.

Losing Kenley is extremely painful. I would have loved to see him finish his career as a Dodger. Hey, you never know, maybe he ends up back in Dodger blue one day.