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Kenley Jansen turned down more money from Nationals to sign with Dodgers

Jansen’s agent confirmed Nationals offered more money, but ultimately he wanted to stay with the Dodgers.

The Nationals are still in search of a closer after Kenley Jansen re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a five-year deal worth $80 million. Washington has now lost out on each of the top three free agent closers this winter, but according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports the Nationals didn’t miss out on Jansen without a fight.

The Nationals offering $5 million more than the Dodgers shows they understand the situation that they are in, and the need they have to secure a bona fide closer. Jansen would have been the second-highest paid reliever in the MLB behind Aroldis Chapman, who signed with the New York Yankees for $86 million over five years regardless of what deal he chose. But, the Nationals’ offer would have paid Jansen just $200,000 less on average per season.

The Nationals’ offer did contain deferrals, according to Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post. Washington has been known for offering free agents deferred money. Deferred money is a big part of Max Scherzer’s deal which is worth $210 million he signed in 2015. They also offered deferred money to Jayson Heyward and Yoenis Cespedes last winter. Both players then, chose to sign with other ball clubs.

To answer any questions as to how the Nationals were willing to offer $85 million to Jansen but did not top San Francisco’s bid of $62 million for Mark Melancon, it’s very simple. The Nationals at the time of Melancon’s negotiations did not have the budget space to feel confident with increasing their bid. Acquiring Adam Eaton, who makes $4 million in 2017 as opposed to Andrew McCutchen at $14 million per year, gave Rizzo more money to work with trying to land a closer.

Ultimately, Jansen wanted to stay with the Dodgers and gave L.A. a hometown discount despite being “very impressed” with Washington’s offer and presentation, as his agent Adam Katz relayed to Joel Sherman of The New York Post.

Now Rizzo and the Nationals have to regroup once again and figure out how they will address their biggest need with Chapman, Jansen, and Melancon all off the board. They quite possibly may have to turn to Dave Robertson in another trade with the Chicago White Sox.

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