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Dodgers still in on Turner, Jansen

Friedman says there is no urgency to make deals at Winter Meetings
MLB.com @kengurnick

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Is there a realistic pathway for the Dodgers, while desiring to reduce payroll, to still re-sign both of their top free agents -- third baseman Justin Turner and closer Kenley Jansen?

"Tough question to answer," Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, the day before substantial progress was made in the market for free-agent closers.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Is there a realistic pathway for the Dodgers, while desiring to reduce payroll, to still re-sign both of their top free agents -- third baseman Justin Turner and closer Kenley Jansen?

"Tough question to answer," Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, the day before substantial progress was made in the market for free-agent closers.

• Dodgers completing due diligence ahead of deals

Late Wednesday night, lefty Aroldis Chapman, who had drawn much interest from the Dodgers, agreed to a five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees, according to a baseball source. Coupled with Mark Melancon's four-year, $62 million deal with San Francisco, which materialized before the Winter Meetings, Chapman's deal left just Jansen as a prize for teams seeking an elite free-agent closer. MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi and Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan reported after news of Chapman's agreement broke that the Marlins -- who, with the Dodgers and Yankees, pursued Chapman -- had made an offer to Jansen in the neighborhood of $80 million.

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As a fallback, though, a trade for Pittsburgh's Tony Watson is an option, as is free agent Greg Holland. The Cubs finalized a trade with the Royals for Wade Davis on Wednesday, sending outfielder Jorge Soler to Kansas City.

"I think the free-agent market almost always plays out to the point of doing more than you rationally want to do," Friedman said. "If you're always rational about free agents, you will finish third on every free agent. So, there's some element that is market-based that makes it hard to answer. In a rational mind, yes, it can work. Doesn't mean it can play out in a rational way."

So, the Dodgers continue to talk to both Turner and Jansen, with the expectation of signing maybe one, more likely the locally based Turner, fueled in part by media suggestions that his market is less than robust.

That said, the Monday rumor of a trade for White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier had legs Tuesday, with previously reported trade interest in Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier still strong.

While Friedman said the industry is behind the normal offseason schedule because MLB and the Players Association were negotiating the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, he said there's no urgency to make deals at the Winter Meetings just because all teams are under one roof.

"I actually think it's really important to not feel you have to do something in these three days," he said. "When it happens is not something we feel we can force. If you get caught up in these three days, in our opinion, you can make mistakes. Have a laser-like focus on your decision points, and when it happens is somewhat irrelevant to us."

MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016 Winter Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. Fans can watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 6 a.m. PT.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers