Kenley Jansen signed with the Dodgers before he was legally considered an adult.
At just 17 years old, Jansen signed with LA and spent 12 seasons donning a Dodgers uniform before signing with the Braves in free agency before the 2022 season.
Now, the former Dodger will host his team as they prepare for a three-game series in Boston against the Red Sox.
Before the series began, Jansen told MassLive about his initial goals with LA.
“I’m not going to lie about that. Yeah, for sure,” Jansen told MassLive on Tuesday. “I thought guys like me and Kersh (Clayton Kershaw) for sure would be playing in one uniform. But yeah, it didn’t happen.”
The Dodgers and Jansen couldn’t agree to a deal when he became a free agent following the 2021 season, in which Jansen held an elite 2.22 ERA and 38 saves.
I did what is best for my family,” Jansen said. “And I’m sure they did what’s best for them also, maybe. I don’t know. I don’t know what their plan was. As much as I wanted to play there, it didn’t match at the end. So I did what’s best for my family.”
In three games against the Dodgers since his exit, Jansen holds a 6.00 ERA and 2 saves. The 35-year-old still has strong feelings for his former club.
“I love all my guys over there,” Jansen said. “They will forever be my brothers. I love every single one of them. It’s just business. If they really wanted me, they probably would have paid me. I can’t be waiting for one team and a good opportunity passes by. So I did what’s best for my family.”
Jansen still proving to be one of the most reliable closers in the game. The former Dodger holds a 2.81 ERA, 29 saves and a 1.20 WHIP this season.
However, among all the accolades and great moments Jansen had as a Dodger, one of his favorites is deeply personal.
“I have a lot of favorite moments,” Jansen said. “One of the best moments is probably when my second kid, my first with my wife, my son Kaden was born in 2015. My wife delivered the baby that morning and it’s a 1 o’clock game. I got in in the sixth inning and got ready. I was in in the eighth inning. Punch out two guys in the eighth and then strike out the side in the ninth. It was a five-out save … and my son was born. So I’ll never forget that day, too.”
Photo Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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