Zach Britton was baseball’s best closer in 2016. Kenley Jansen has arguably been the MLB’s top ninth inning guy in 2017. It’s possible that the two could join forces soon.
Jon Heyman of FanRag sports detailed that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles have been in talks about a trade that would bring Britton to Los Angeles. That’s a possibility that has Jansen quite excited.
“Man, that would be awesome,” Jansen said, via Heyman. “You just gave me goose bumps.”
Jansen may be getting goose bumps. But the rest of MLB’s contenders are getting shivers down their spines at the thought of having to beat a Dodgers team that features these two.
Britton has missed most of 2017 with an injury, appearing in only 11 games. But from 2014-2016, he saved 120 games for Baltimore, posting a 1.38 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, all while striking out 9.3 hitters for every nine innings of work.
Jansen, meanwhile, has a career 2.10 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and has struck out 13.9 hitters per every nine innings.
With Jansen as its anchor, the Dodgers bullpen is already one of the best in baseball. Los Angeles relievers have the second best ERA (2.99) and K/9 (10.38) in the league, along with the best WHIP (1.12).
Lack of bullpen depth has frequently held the Dodgers back in October. But even without Britton, that’s not such a concern in 2017. Should Los Angeles acquire Britton, the Dodgers would become even clearer favorites to win the National League pennant.