LOS ANGELES – Kenley Jansen gets an almost dreamy look in his eyes when he thinks about it.
“When the (bullpen) gates open – watch out,” the Dodgers closer said, contemplating an idyllic postseason future. “That’s the feeling I want teams to have against us.”
In Jansen’s dream world, the Dodgers will have traded for Orioles left-hander Zach Britton or right-hander Brad Brach, lefties Brad Hand of the Padres or Justin Wilson of the Tigers or Mets closer Addison Reed – maybe more than one – and added them to the Dodgers’ relief corps, a group that is already the best in the National League, to form what Jansen calls a “super bullpen.”
“You know how the playoffs are. I learned last year,” Jansen said. “Look at the Kansas City Royals when they won. Chicago (Cubs) surprised me last year when they went out and got (Aroldis) Chapman. But it was for that same reason. And that might have put them over the top. Look at the Cleveland Indians. They don’t even get to the World Series without that bullpen – (Andrew) Miller, (Bryan) Shaw and then (closer) Cody Allen.
“That’s a ‘super bullpen.’ We already have a super bullpen. But if you can go out and add someone like a Britton – whew, you make it really tough.”
A few days earlier, however, Jansen compared another star of the trade rumor mill, Rangers starter Yu Darvish, to a Ferrari and said “why not” trade for him. Reminded of this, Jansen laughed.
“At the end of the day, you want rings,” he said by way of explaining his greed.
The Dodgers are in a strong position to pursue that goal. They won 69 of their first 100 games this season (tied for the fourth-most by any team since 1969), lead the National League West by a 12½-game chasm and have the best record in baseball (71-31).
With four days to go before the non-waiver trade deadline Monday afternoon, the Dodgers’ focus is not addressing any weaknesses on such a strong team – there are no “low-hanging fruit,”…