Oct 23, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) pitches during the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves in game six of the 2021 NLCS at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Days after the Los Angeles Dodgers signed a franchise stalwart of the Atlanta Braves in Freddie Freeman, Atlanta responded in kind.

The Braves announced on Friday night that they signed closer Kenley Jansen to a one-year deal.

Jansen had some struggles during the 2021 season, but he still finished the year as one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. He had a legendary career in Los Angeles. Jansen’s 350 saves are 13th on the all-time list. With the exception of the COVID-shortened 2020 season, he’s saved no fewer than 33 games in every season since 2014 and at least 25 in every year since 2012. If he does that again in 2022, he’ll move comfortably into the top-10 on the all-time list.

The Braves, of course, are also the defending World Series Champions. They defeated Jansen’s Dodgers in the NLCS. Atlanta’s closer from that 2021 season, Will Smith, is still on the roster. But Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulous said that there’s no closer controversy and that Smith was willing to cede the role to Jansen.

Anthopoulous also noted that Jansen will have new entrance music, as 2pac’s “California Love” won’t have the same vibe in Atlanta.

Naturally, such a high-profile player signing with the defending champs will draw a big reaction from the MLB world. That’s exactly what happened here.

Jansen for Freeman isn’t exactly an equal trade. A great everyday player will always carry more weight than a great relief pitcher. But when you factor in Jansen, plus the acquisition (and subsequent extension) of Matt Olson, it’s safe to say that the Braves are loading up in a big way in their bid to repeat.

About Michael Dixon

Michael is a writer and editor for The Comeback Media. He is Bay Area native living in the Indianapolis area. Michael is also a big nerd when it comes to sports history and to a slightly lesser extent, all history. Beyond that, loves tacos, pizza and random Seinfeld quotes.

Feel free to voice your agreements or disagreements. If you do so respectfully, Michael will gladly respond in kind.

Twitter: @mfdixon1985 (mostly personal but a lot of sports)/@mdixonsports (All work/sports related)

Email: mdixon@thecomeback.com