Prior to the 2016 MLB season, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Aroldis Chapman — albeit briefly because the ball club backed out of the deal due to the closer’s domestic abuse charges. In the end, Chapman made his way to the eventual World Series champions, Chicago Cubs.
At the time of the rumored move, the thought of pairing one of the most dominant left-handed closers with one of the best right-handed closers in Kenley Jansen was simply mouthwatering. In addition, both pitchers were heading into free agency that season and the Dodgers needed a backup plan in case Jansen departed.
Eventually, Jansen re-signed on a five-year, $80 million deal after becoming the team’s all-time leader in saves. While the 29-year-old continues his stellar career in Los Angeles, he may be getting help in the form of Zach Britton, which has him excited according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball:
“Man, that would be awesome,” said Kenley Jansen, the game’s best closer when informed the Dodgers had at least had a conversation with the Orioles. “You just gave me goose bumps.”
If the Dodgers were able to acquire Britton from the struggling Baltimore Orioles, it could be a season-altering move for the club in the sense that it would fortify an already dominating bullpen. To have two excellent closers in the backend would make the starting rotation that much better by limiting their innings especially their aging starters.
Jansen understands the pressing need for the Dodgers to win the World Series and this is the kind of move that would increase their chances. Los Angeles boasts the best pitching ERA (3.15) in baseball coupled with the second-best bullpen ERA:
“Golly, you got me going right now,” Jansen said. “We have a special team, and a special bullpen. The guys never quit, Andrew (Friedman, the team’s baseball president) and the guys do a great job.”
Britton would not come cheap though as he will be coveted by numerous playoff contending teams. Baltimore will surely be looking for top-notch prospects as compensation for their pitcher that finished fourth in the AL Cy Young award race in 2016.
The Dodgers brass has been very hesitant to utilize their loaded farm system. Luckily, Los Angeles has a deep minor league crop of players to entice Baltimore without relinquishing their top prospects.