Dodgers free agents: Predicting which FAs stay and which leave LA

Jason Reed
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 23: Corey Seager #5 and Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate the teams 6-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Three of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 23, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 23: Corey Seager #5 and Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate the teams 6-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Three of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 23, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Dodgers
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Dodgers /

Dodgers free agents: The trio of relievers

Kenley Jansen obviously gets his own discussion in this article. On this page, we’ll discuss the future of Joe Kelly, Corey Knebel and Jimmy Nelson.

Joe Kelly: Stays in LA (on a new deal)

The Dodgers could simply opt into the last year of Joe Kelly’s deal and pay him $12 million next season. While Kelly has become a big fan-favorite on the Dodgers and pitched really well last season, it is hard to justify paying that much money for a reliever.

Personally, I am not a fan of paying big money for any non-closer reliever, and even then it is usually a mistake, as relievers can be so volatile. In a perfect world, the Dodgers opt out of the one year for $12 million and instead offer him a multi-year, incentive-based deal that does not have as big of a luxury tax hit.

I would like to see something around two years for $15 million with the ability to earn upwards of $20 million if he stays healthy. Kelly, being a Rancho Cucamonga native, should be inclined to stay home and take the deal.

Corey Knebel: Stay in LA

Knebel struggled a bit in the postseason but he proved to be a big cog in the Dodgers’ bullpen. Ironically enough, Knebel getting hurt and missing most of the season kept him from being priced out of LA.

The Dodgers should be able to bring Knebel back on a rather affordable one-year deal.

Jimmy Nelson: Leaves LA

The reclamation project of all reclamation projects has not panned out. While Jimmy Nelson has shown a lot of potential, he just has not been able to shake the injury bug. He did not pitch at all in 2020, and while he appeared in 2021, his season ended prematurely because of injury.

Nelson underwent Tommy John Surgery as well as surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon. His pitching career in the big leagues might be over.

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