Marlins eye market as Jansen decision looms
Closer considering offer from Miami, in addition to other clubs
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Winter Meetings have concluded, but the Marlins' pursuit of closer Kenley Jansen continues. As of Thursday morning, nothing was imminent with regard to the hard-throwing right-hander signing with Miami, as the negotiation process moves forward.
MLB.com has confirmed reports that the Marlins have an offer of five years, in the $80 million range, on the table for Jansen. However, the 29-year-old also is in discussions with the Dodgers and Nationals, and perhaps other clubs.
Throughout the Winter Meetings, the Marlins made it clear that they were seeking back-end bullpen depth. Relievers are the strength of the free-agent market, and Miami is trying to tap into candidates that will make its bullpen one of the best in the National League.
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"The offseason is still ongoing," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "There's still a lot of players available, and we'll continue our quest to try to improve the roster."
Along with being in discussions with Jansen, the Marlins also had strong interest in lefty Aroldis Chapman, who reportedly agreed to a five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees late Wednesday night.
The Yankees and Marlins were the two finalists for Chapman, who opted to return to New York.
"We're monitoring the reliever market," Hill said. "You knew that was a possibility, that [Chapman] could go somewhere else. But we're still focused on adding as much depth and quality as we can."
If the Marlins end up signing Jansen, they will also lose their first-round Draft pick because the right-hander turned down a $17.2 million qualifying offer from the Dodgers. Initially, that was to be the 14th overall pick. But after the Rockies came to terms with Ian Desmond, the status of the pick changed. Miami now holds the 13th pick in the 2017 Draft.
Jansen comes off an All-Star season with the Dodgers, in which he saved 47 games and struck out 104 in 68 2/3 innings.
The Marlins have been aggressive wanting to add a top-flight closer in hopes of creating a "super bullpen." Previously, Jansen pitched for Marlins manager Don Mattingly when the two were with Los Angeles.
If Jansen signs with Miami, he also would reunite with catcher A.J. Ellis, who agreed to terms with the Marlins on Wednesday.
At some point in the not-too-distant future, the Marlins would like an answer regarding Jansen, because as a fallback plan, the club has interest in free agents Koji Uehara, Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa.
A delay in the process with Jansen could mean Miami misses out on any of its other targets, should Jansen sign elsewhere.
"You don't know the timeline of these things," Hill said. "We'll continue to stay in touch with the respective representatives, and follow where things go."