Padres sign reliever Janssen to Minor League deal

February 20th, 2016

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres continue to add arms to their already large stable of bullpen pitchers, signing veteran right-hander Casey Janssen to a Minor League deal Saturday.

Janssen, 34, who has pitched for nine seasons in the big leagues with the Blue Jays and Nationals, was in camp Saturday.

"He's great to add to the mix," said Padres manager Andy Green. "He has got a history of closing out games pretty successfully in Toronto. I think any time you can add that experience to the mix [it's good]."

Janssen's deal came together quickly. He was unemployed and throwing a bullpen at Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach, Calif., on Thursday. General manager A.J. Preller then called with a job offer. On Friday, Janssen drove to Arizona.

Janssen was 2-5 with a 4.95 ERA in 48 games last season with the Nationals. His ERA looks worse than it probably was, as he allowed no runs in 36 of those 48 appearances.

"It was frustrating. I had a couple of innings that got away from me that made my season not very impressive," Janssen said.

The Padres, who have 17 pitchers in camp who weren't with the organization a year ago, signed veteran Fernando Rodney earlier this month with the hope that he can win the closer job.

From all indications, Janssen will be given a chance to win the job -- meaning this wasn't a move made to add organizational depth.

"Nothing is promised, nothing is guaranteed," Green said. "But he does have a very legitimate chance to factor into our bullpen."

Janssen saved 81 games from 2012-14 with the Blue Jays, posting a 34-save year in '13.

That Janssen has pitched and had success late in games was a draw to Green and the Padres.

"Experience is always a good thing. It's a great teacher. It's not necessarily the only thing we look for," Green said. "Who is he is as a person, his reputation throughout the game. He's a great guy all around and a great guy to add."

Janssen said he had his eyes on the Padres and was thankful this opportunity came along.

"We talked to a few teams, they expressed interest, being a Southern California kid, I had my eye on them and being able to stay close to home and there was a fit," Janssen said.