Washington Nationals: Which Closers Are A Good Fit?
By Matt Weyrich
Kenley Jansen hasn’t made as many as many headlines as Chapman over the years, but the former Dodger has been just as effective over his career. He’s posted a 2.20 ERA while accumulating a Dodger-record 189 saves in the seven years he spent with the team. Last season, Jansen earned the first All-Star selection of his career, finishing the year with a 1.83 ERA and staggering WHIP of 0.67.
At 29 years old, Jansen is expected to sign a contract in the range of $80 million. The Marlins are reportedly mulling giving him a five-year deal, meaning the Nats will at least have to match that if they’re going to land him.
Jansen relies primarily on three different pitches, highlighted by a nasty cutter that averages 93 mph. He may not light up the radar gun like Chapman, but the fact that he doesn’t rely as heavily on pure velocity should actually appeal to some teams who are concerned about Chapman’s ability to continue throwing as hard as he does over the rest of his career.
Washington is known to be interested in Jansen, just as they are with Chapman and were with Melancon. Jansen should be cheaper and a safer bet than Chapman, however, making him a very viable target for the team to sign.