In the end, the Marlins whiffed.
Their quest to sign an elite bullpen closer came up empty Monday when Kenley Jansen reached a five-year deal to remain with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to multiple reports.
Thus closes the book on the Marlins’ bid to upgrade the back end of their bullpen with one of the three free agent closers that loomed on the open market: Jansen, Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon.
All three signed elsewhere: Jansen with the Dodgers, Chapman with the Yankees and Melancon with the Giants. The Marlins made concerted attempts to sign Chapman and Jansen — offering large contracts to both pitchers — but to no avail.
According to reports, Jansen’s deal with the Dodgers will pay him $80 million, which is about what the Marlins offered him. But the Marlins’ offer was believed to be heavily back-loaded and might not have included a no-trade clause.
While the Marlins’ bid to acquire Jansen would have strengthened their bullpen, it would have come at a heavy price for a franchise that typically doesn’t spend big.
Not only would the Marlins been on the hook for an uber-rich contract for a closer, but they would have been required to give up next year’s first-round draft pick — 13th overall — in order to complete the deal.
Now they can they turn their attention to shoring up the bullpen with less-expensive alternatives while retaining their draft pick. Some of the names that have been discussed within the organization: Brad Ziegler, Daniel Hudson, Junichi Tazawa and Neftali Feliz.