Right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on the final night of the winter meetings on Wednesday Dec. 12. Acquiring the reliever from the Boston Red Sox, months after losing to them in the World Series, Los Angeles bolsters some reliable pitching in the back end of their bullpen.
The 30-year-old finished the 2017-18’ season 4-2 with a 4.39 ERA, a 1.36 WHIP and a 2.13 strikeout-to-walk ratio and recorded two saves in 73 appearances for the Red Sox. He did most of the damage against the Dodgers, pitching in all five games of the World Series, not allowing a run and striking on 10 batters in six innings of work.
Spending the first five seasons of his seven-year career, Kelly alternated between a rotation pitcher and the bullpen, and now joins a roster that features Pedro Baez, Dylan Floro and Josh Fields, as well as left-handed pitchers Scott Alexander, Tony Cingrani and Adam McCreery. Kelly might only have two saves under his belt, but provides an additional bullpen arm to begin the season with Kenley Jansen coming off a second heart procedure last month.
Jansen is expected to return for the start of Spring Training, but his future in still uncertain because his contract expires after this upcoming season. Los Angeles was on the receiving end of his dominant performance during the World Series and hope that he can replicate the same success in Los Angeles with his strong pitching.