Dodgers close to re-signing a familiar face to bolster their bullpen

LA brought back a familiar face to help shore up their bullpen ahead of the Winter Meetings.
Sep 29, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly (17)
Sep 29, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly (17) / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

While most of the attention with regard to the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason is on the big names like Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, LA is going to have to make a number of more minor moves to fill out their 2024 roster as well. Sure, it would be nice if every move were sexy ones, but that just isn't how running a successful team in a sustainable way works.

Case in point: the Dodgers' bullpen is going to need some depth, with multiple guys from the 2023 squad hitting free agency. Given the Dodgers' desire to be big players for Ohtani and the top starters on the market, forking over $20 million a year for Josh Hader probably isn't in the cards.

The Dodgers also probably don't have to sign a big-name reliever, as their core of Brusdar Graterol, Evan Phillips, and Caleb Ferguson are all returning and Blake Treinen should be coming back from shoulder surgery as well at some point early in 2024.

Well, the Dodgers did, in fact, bolster their bullpen on Saturday when it was reported by FanSided's own Robert Murray that LA was bringing back Joe Kelly for at least the 2024 season. Kelly is trying to get back on track after struggling to keep his ERA sown with the Chicago White Sox.

Dodgers re-sign Joe Kelly to help fill out their bullpen

Kelly has had two different stints with the Dodgers in recent years. From 2019-2021, Kelly and his high-octane fastball averaged a 3.59 ERA across 115 appearances. LA liked what they saw out of him enough to run it back at the trade deadline this year as he was included in the trade that brought Lance Lynn to the Dodgers. In 11 appearances with LA in 2023, Kelly was excellent, with a 1.74 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 10.1 innings of work.

The terms of Kelly's deal aren't yet known, but a one or two-year contract for a few million seems to align with his fair market value and previous deals he has signed. Kelly has traditionally been a solid pitcher at Dodger Stadium.

With the Winter Meetings just a couple of days away, signing Kelly checks one of the smaller boxes that the Dodgers need to check while allowing the team to focus more on the bigger names on their radar at the meetings themselves.

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