Corey Seager is already here. Clayton Kershaw could be next. Could Kenley Jansen possibly come after for the Texas Rangers?
The LA to Texas pipeline built by manager Chris Woodward is having an impact on roster and coaching staff decisions across the board. That much is clear, or else Seager wouldn’t be here, nor would Kershaw even be in the discussion.
Kenley Jansen is a new entrant to the free agent discourse for the Texas Rangers, however.
Bleacher Report recently listed the Rangers as a landing spot for the veteran closer, who like Kershaw, has also spent his entire career with the Dodgers.
Bleacher Report listed the Texas Rangers as a possible landing spot for Kenley Jansen in free agency
Jansen seems likely to leave Los Angeles for greener pastures (quite literally for big free agent money), but even with the Woodward connection in Arlington, I’m not convinced he’s the best use of Texas’ vast financial resources.
Here’s what Bleacher Report had to say:
"“They [the Rangers] can add $38 million more to their 2022 payroll before they match their previous franchise high.Such a budget would give them more than enough leeway to sign Jansen, and he would become the best reliever in a bullpen that doesn’t have much going for it. Joe Barlow had a nice run at the end of 2021, but a strikeout rate of 8.4 per nine innings just isn’t closer material.Once again, though, Jansen might not buy into the Rangers’ contention timeline.”"
Jansen to the Texas Rangers feels like an odd fit for a few reasons. First, the Rangers aren’t looking to contend in 2022. Typically, teams who chase relievers in free agency, especially star closers, are looking to make the playoffs right away. That’s not Texas at the moment.
Secondly, there are still holes aplenty to patch on the roster as currently constructed. This team could still use an impact outfielder and starting pitching, not to mention middle relief before you’ve even gotten to the closer. Spending big on Kenley Jansen would feel like a bad allocation of funds.
And lastly, the jury is still out on Joe Barlow. He looked good in limited appearances last season, and the team also has other intriguing talent like Nick Snyder, Brett Martin, John King and Demarcus Evans who all have the stuff to be effective late-inning relievers. It would be preferable to give those guys chances rather than block them with Kenley Jansen, as good as he is.
Overall, Kenley Jansen to the Texas Rangers feels like a near-impossibility and frankly, the team shouldn’t even consider it.