The Atlanta Braves announced on Friday night that they have signed closer Kenley Jansen to a one-year contract worth $16 million. In a corresponding move, the Braves have placed right-handed reliever Jay Jackson on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.
Jansen, 34, had previously spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Last season, he posted a 2.22 ERA (185 ERA+) and a 2.39 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 69 innings. For his career, he has a 2.37 ERA and a 5.01 strikeout-to-walk ratio to go with 350 saves.
Jansen entered the offseason ranked by CBS Sports as the 20th best free agent. Here's what we wrote at the time:
You can make the case that Jansen isn't the most desirable closer on the market. He is, nevertheless, the most accomplished and (perhaps) the most consistent; that combination, in this author's estimation, will make him the most wealthy. Jansen has had more seasons with an ERA+ over 200 than he's had under 120; he's recorded at least 30 saves in seven consecutive full seasons; and he's likely to move into the top eight, if not the top seven on the all-time saves leaderboard next season. Two notes on his season that should encourage teams this winter: 1) his walk rate increased despite him still throwing a well-above-average rate of strikes, suggesting the former was a blip rather than a concern; and 2) he showed increased confidence in his slider, giving him another weapon to deploy as he deems it necessary.
It's worth pointing out that Jansen joins the Braves just days after Freddie Freeman, previously a career Brave, signed with the Dodgers. Freeman's departure from Atlanta was, of course, precipitated by the Braves acquiring Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics.