According to LA Times beat writer Jorge Casillo, the Dodgers are expected to decline a club option on right-handed reliever Joe Kelly this offseason. If it is the end, what a wild journey it’s been for Kelly and the Dodgers. After helping upend the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series with Boston, Kelly inked a 3-year, $25M deal with LA. In 3 seasons, the right-hander has a 3.59 ERA over 115 games.
Notably, he missed significant time in the 2020 season after earning a hefty 8 game suspension during the 60 game season. Additionally, he missed time early in 2021 recovering from offseason surgery to correct an issue in his right shoulder.
Now, the 33-year-old hurler could hit the open market once again.
If the Dodgers do decline the option, Kelly would be set to join Kenley Jansen and Corey Knebel as free agents this winter. However, there’s one big hurdle for Kelly. After suffering a bicep injury in the postseason, he’s not expected to be ready to go to start the 2022 season. At least according to reports.
If you’re looking for the financials, if the Dodgers exercised the option, Kelly would make $12 in 2022. In declining, they would pay only a $4M buyout. As Castillo noted, a new deal between Kelly and LA isn’t out of the picture. Kelly resides close-ish to Dodger Stadium and seemingly enjoyed playing close to home over the last few years. It’s up to him to determine whether that comfort is worth a few million dollars less in contract value.