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Braves sign Kenley Jansen to one-year, $16 million deal

The World Series champions add one of the greatest closers in history to top off their offseason.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In a Friday night shocker, the Braves announced that they’ve signed longtime Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to a one-year, $16 million deal — a massive addition to a bullpen that was at times an area of weakness for the defending World Series champs in 2021.

Jansen, a three-time All-Star and two-time Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year winner, ranks second among active major leaguers behind Craig Kimbrel and 13th in major league history in career saves (350). He has a 2.37 career ERA over 12 years, and he’s never had an ERA over 3.71 in a season, only crossing the three-run threshold three times.

Though he appeared to level off a bit from 2018-20, Jansen bounced back in 2021, posting a 2.22 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP, 86 strikeouts, and 36 walks in 69 appearances (69 innings). He gave up just three hits and did not allow a run over eight postseason appearances (seven innings).

The addition of Jansen will move Will Smith out of the Braves’ closer role. He’ll join a bullpen that also includes Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek, and fellow new addition Collin McHugh, among others.

To make room for Jansen on the 40-man roster, the Braves transferred reliever Jay Jackson to the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.