2. Joe Kelly
Speaking of another team that needs to “figure it out,” the Chicago White Sox were expected to be among the favorites to win the American League. On June 21, they’re below .500 and in third place in the AL Central behind the Twins and Guardians.
Joe Kelly was one of their big offseason acquisitions to help bolster the bullpen since Craig Kimbrel (now a Dodger!) failed spectacularly in the setup role behind Liam Hendriks after the 2021 trade deadline.
Before signing his two-year, $17 million contract with the White Sox, Kelly revealed there was mutual interest in him returning to the Dodgers, but a shoulder injury (and some payroll concerns for LA) derailed that.
Kelly missed the first month of the season and recently spent more time on the IL. He hasn’t been at all impressive in 2022 (9.39 ERA and 2.08 WHIP in 7.2 innings), which could lead the White Sox to patch things up with the trade deadline approaching. Perhaps offloading his money and acquiring a different big-name reliever could do the trick? Or, if the Sox fall out of contention altogether, they might do a bit more selling than fans were expecting.
If this is at all the narrative that follows, the Dodgers should look to reunite with Kelly, especially now that Trevor Bauer’s money for the 2022 season is more than likely not going to count against the payroll due to his suspension.