In return, they received top relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel, who is expected to take over as the closer.
One can’t help but wonder why the Dodgers are adding Kimbrel’s $16 million salary in 2022 and didn’t re-sign a fan favorite.
“It’ll be interesting to hear the logic behind the Dodgers’ swap for Kimbrel. Makes you wonder why they didn’t just re-sign Jansen, who got 1/16 from the Braves, and keep Pollock,” ESPN insider Buster Olney tweeted on Friday.
It'll be interesting to hear the logic behind the Dodgers' swap for Kimbrel. Makes you wonder why they didn't just re-sign Jansen, who got 1/16 from the Braves, and keep Pollock.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) April 1, 2022
Kenley Jansen is only eight months older than Kimbrel, and the two had similarly good seasons in 2021.
Kimbrel covered 59.2 innings between the Chicago Cubs and the White Sox, with a 2.26 ERA and a 42.6% strikeout rate.
Jansen pitched 69 frames with a 2.22 ERA.
The Dodgers Could Have Kept Both Jansen And Pollock
The thing that makes us question the Dodgers’ logic behind the deal is that Los Angeles could have paid the same salary to Jansen and still keep Pollock, who is a solid, starting-caliber outfielder even if he is not exactly young.
It makes one wonder if the Dodgers have soured on Jansen as a potentially dominant reliever after a rough patch he had over the summer.
He bounced back nicely, however, and finished with a typically dominant season.
And Kimbrel wasn’t all that dominant with the White Sox: after being traded to the south side, he had a 5.09 ERA in 23 frames.
It was the Dodgers’ decision in the end, and they haven’t been so competitive in the last few years by chance.
It will be interesting, however, to hear their reasoning behind the trade, though.