Kenley Jansen has avoided arbitration with the Dodgers by inking a one-year, $4.3 million contract, which is $25,000 above the midpoint of his submission and the team’s counter.
Jansen sometimes flies under the radar when stud relievers are discussed because he’s yet to rack up huge save totals, but no one has been more dominant over the past four seasons. Since debuting in 2010 he has a 2.10 ERA in 216 appearances, striking out an incredible 347 batters in 222 innings while holding opponents to a .158 batting average.
If the Dodgers let him keep the closer job all season he’ll likely save 40-plus games and then he’ll be incredibly expensive this time next year.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.
The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.
Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.