With the news that Kenley Jansen decided to remain in Los Angeles, signing a 5-year, $80 million contract with the Dodgers, teams in play for the closer are now reshuffling their decks and hoping for a winning hand or two. The Miami Marlins are still hoping to come out with an ace or a very high hand.
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote the decision by Jansen, who was the Marlins’ top target all along in free agency, will almost certainly mean AJ Ramos will remain the team’s closer. Ramos, a National League All-Star, saved 40 games in 2016, as the closer while the team did use Fernando Rodney whom they acquired from San Diego before last season’s All Star break. Rodney has since moved on.
Had Miami signed Jansen, Ramos likely would have been moved into the eighth-inning spot. There also was the possibility he could be traded. There are other options to consider as well, which also means team president of player development Michael Hill must decide if the players left on the free agent market are to the team’s liking.
Frisaro believes the team will sign one or two relievers to give the staff depth and to help a rotation that will have two new starters on opening day 2017. Brad Ziegler, Neftali Feliz, Fernando Salas and Junichi Tazawa could all still be on Miami’s radar as they all have major league experience.