The Los Angeles Angels could use some more bullpen help. Jimmy Herget surprised many including myself with his outstanding 2022 season. The Angels have veterans Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera looking to bounce back in 2023 as well. Other than that, the bullpen is full of question marks heading into next season.
The Angels were 18th in bullpen ERA this past season. For them to make a playoff push, that has to improve.
One of the top free agent relievers available is Kenley Jansen. Could he make sense for the Angels?
Should the Angels go after former Dodger Kenley Jansen?
If Opening Day started tomorrow, Jimmy Herget would be the Angels' closer. I thought he had a spectacular season and he did get nine saves as he finished the season in the closer role, but I like him more pitching in the seventh or eighth inning.
With Edwin Diaz re-signing with the Mets, Jansen is the best closer available. I think on a similar contract he just signed with the Braves last off-season, a deal makes sense.
Jansen signed a one-year $16 million dollar deal with the Braves after spending the first 12 seasons of his career with the Dodgers.
Jansen went 5-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 65 appearances and 64 innings pitched. He led the National League with 54 games finished and 41 saves.
Jansen still has the elite strikeout stuff he's always had, as he struck out 12.0 batters per nine. His walks went way down to from 4.7 BB/9 in 2021 to 3.1 BB/9 this past season.
Jansen allowed more hits as he allowed 4.7 H/9 in 2021 and allowed 6.3 H/9 in 2022. Even with more hits allowed, opponents slashed .192/.265/.346 off of the 35 year old.
Kenley isn't what he once was. He used to throw pretty much only cutters and make things look easy. He's now a three-pitch pitcher as he's mixed in some sinkers and sliders. He had his rough patches this season with Atlanta but still converted 41 saves in 48 opportunities.
If Jansen is open to a one-year deal once again I think a deal makes sense. The Angels' bullpen with the exception of Loup and Tepera is a very young one. Signing a veteran who has 391 career saves and a boatload of playoff appearances has value.
Jansen might not be as dominant as he once was, but he's still a very good reliever. An expensive one-year deal makes sense to me.