Kenley Jansen will not opt out of his contract with the Dodgers

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen looks on from the dugout before Game 1 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 03.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

As expected, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen will not opt out of his contract with two years and $38 million remaining on it, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The choice was obvious. Jansen is 32 and coming off his two worst seasons; the market would not have been so generous for a reliever entering his mid-30s already showing a dropoff.

Between 2018 and 2019, he compiled a 3.34 earned-run average in 131 regular season appearances as his stuff diminished after heavy workloads over the previous two seasons during his run as arguably the best reliever in baseball.


Last year, he blew two saves in the World Series against the Boston Red Sox. The Dodgers had lost confidence in him by this postseason. That became obvious in the 10th inning of Game 5 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals when Jansen watched Joe Kelly, pitching his second inning, give up the go-ahead grand slam to Howie Kendrick.

The Dodgers signed Jansen to a five-year, $80 million deal in January 2017.

In addition, Rich Hill, Russell Martin, and Hyun-Jin Ryu officially became free agents on Thursday.

The Dodgers also added left-hander Victor Gonzalez to their 40-man roster. Gonzalez took a leap as a reliever in 2019, climbing from single-A Rancho Cucamonga to double-A Tulsa to triple-A Oklahoma City by the end of the season. The 23-year-old Mexican posted a 2.31 earned-run average in 38 games between the three levels. He made 13 starts, but was used exclusively as a reliever beginning in late June.