3 Joe Kelly replacements Dodgers should already be targeting

Adam Weinrib
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 20: Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after closing out the teams 8-3 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game One of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 20, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 20: Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after closing out the teams 8-3 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game One of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 20, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Mychal Givens #48 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

2. Mychal Givens

Buckle up, because I’m just going to continue advocating for Mychal Givens until a true contender signs or acquires him. A brief stint in Cincinnati last year, or his recent Colorado tenure, did not exactly satisfy my appetite for Big Game Givens.

Givens will be available on a super-cheap one-year deal, something we’re not sure will even be a concern for LA ($8 million for Andrew Heaney’s potential!), but it’s always nice to note. He hasn’t quite been able to recreate his early-career magic with the Orioles in his age-26 and -27 seasons (96 whiffs in 74.2 innings, 88 in 78.2), but the wipeout slider and mid-90s fastball seem like interesting tools for LA’s pitching gurus to work with this offseason.

After all, Givens could use a comfortable landing spot after he was airlifted to Colorado in the middle of the 2020 pandemic season, then left there to open 2021 … where he actually dominated (2.73 ERA in 29.2 innings).

Sure, the underlying metrics don’t look quite where you want them; his FIP slumped in both Denver and Cincy last year. He does, though, seem to have an untapped changeup, which ranked as one of the game’s best weapons last year while not getting quite the same publicity as, say, Devin Williams. It’s the kind of disrespect that makes you want to punch a wall.

Perhaps the Dodgers should pony up before the Yankees get him under Matt Blake’s tutelage.

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