With baseball’s off-season in full-swing, predictions are coming in on where this year’s big free agents will sign. And despite the front office’s history and both Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer’s public statements, there are some in the game that think Kenley Jansen will sign with the Cubs.
The Dodgers allowed Jansen to hit free agency after seven years in the majors and 12 years in the organization. The Dodgers made Jansen a qualifying offer, which will cost his new team a draft pick and slot money. Jansen is expected to formally decline the one-year, $17.2 million contract by Monday’s deadline.
Jansen appeared in 71 games this past season for a total of 68 2/3 innings. Jansen was 3-2 with 47 saves, a 1.83 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 1.44 FIP. Jansen allowed 14 runs on 35 hits with 11 walks and 104 strikeouts. Jansen had a 3.2 fWAR.
Jim Duquette predicted landing spots for the top 20 free agents and updated his list Friday after the Bartolo Colon and Kendrys Morales signings. Duquette ranked Jansen as the fourth best free agent and predicted he will sign with the Cubs, likely on a record contract for a closer.
The Giants, Dodgers and Nationals have been connected heavily to Jansen. According to Duquette, the Yankees are also interested in him. Duquette thinks Aroldis Chapman is reunited with the Dusty Baker and signs with the Nationals.
Jim Memolo and Steve Phillips were the only two to predict Jansen would sign with the Cubs. And Todd Hollandsworth does not think any of the top 11 free agents will sign with the Cubs this winter. Hollandsworth has Aroldis Chapman going to the Yankees, Dexter Fowler to the Nationals, Kenley Jansen back to the Dodgers and Mark Melancon ending up with the Giants.
At this point in the off-season, no one really knows where the free agents will sign. For example, the Braves made two signings in R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon that caught many by surprise. And very few predicted the Blue Jays would agree to terms with Kendrys Morales on a contract.
The educated guess of Jim Duquette is intriguing and contradictory because he has Jansen signing with the Cubs and Giants.
All that is really known is that the front office will do its best to put together a roster over the three months that will give Joe Maddon a chance for a good start to the 2017 season.
- Report from Jim Duquette
- CCO – Front Office’s History Points to Cubs Not Spending Big on a Free Agent Closer