On Sunday, Kenley Jansen spoke with the media for the first time as a member of the Atlanta Braves. He talked about his decision to sign with Atlanta, saying that the Dodgers wanted him back but he ultimately thought it was in his best interest to sign with Atlanta.
Jorge Castillo from the Los Angeles Times spoke with Jansen, providing more insight and a behind the scenes look into what transpired over the last week.
According to the article, both Jansen and the Dodgers were engaged in contract discussions all offseason. Castillo wrote that Jansen was seeking a three-year contract, but there were no takers. The Dodgers however were reportedly willing to offer two years.
After the Freddie Freeman signing, money was a bit of an issue for the Dodgers, as they wanted Jansen to wait until they shed payroll to keep their number under $290 million and avoid the 90 percent tax rate for exceeding the competitive balance tax line for the second straight season.
Seems simple enough of an ask, right? The only problem is that in order for the Dodgers to shed salary, they’d have to make a trade. It sounded like Jansen wasn’t willing to wait for that to potentially happen with the season inching closer.
“I started to feel that the Dodgers had to make stuff happen,” Jansen said to Castillo. “And, at the same time, you got to deal with the reality of what’s best for you and your family.”
Castillo said that the Braves reached out to Jansen on Friday, giving him an offer of one year for $16 million. They reportedly gave him a deadline to make his decision. Jansen was forced to risk waiting on the Dodgers to potentially shed salary or take a guaranteed $16 million from a World Series contender.
Ultimately, Jansen took the Braves’ offer.
At the end of the day, Jansen was stuck in no-mans land. Returning to the Dodgers would have been great, but with their uncertainty in payroll it made sense as to why he’d want to cash in on that offer from the Braves.
I’m just glad to hear there are no hard feelings between Jansen and the Dodgers. He understood that they were doing everything they could to bring him back, but he had to make a decision for his family — and fast considering he had a deadline.
As Castillo mentioned in the article, the door isn’t completely shut on Jansen returning to LA in the future. His contract is for only one season and his family will be remaining in Los Angeles. Plus, the Dodgers will have a lot of money off the books for next season.