The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas had largely been quiet through the first three days, but sometimes it only takes one signing to open the floodgates on the market.
One area that had yet to budge to this point was the relief pitchers, as there are several big-name bullpen pieces that hadn’t yet signed.
That changed late Wednesday night as the New York Mets reportedly agreed to a deal with Jeurys Familia, who spent the last few years as their closer before being traded to the Oakland Athletics at the deadline this past season.
Familia’s contract is believed to be three years for $30 million, and that signing created a bit of a chain reaction. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a three-year, $25 million contract of their own with right-hander Joe Kelly:
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 13, 2018
The Dodgers were previously linked to Kelly, formerly of the Boston Red Sox, in recent days, so the deal does not come as that much of a surprise.
Most fans are not too fond of Kelly after he fractured Hanley Ramirez’s ribs in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series in 2013 after hitting him with a pitch.
The 30-year-old appeared in 73 games for the Red Sox in 2018, posting a 4.39 ERA, 3.57 FIP and 1.36 WHIP with 68 strikeouts and 32 walks in 65.2 innings.
He was particularly good for Boston in October, which Dodger fans are also aware of. He allowed just one earned run with 13 strikeouts and zero walks in 11.1 innings across nine postseason appearances. He has a 2.49 ERA in 47 career playoff games.
Kelly was born in Anaheim and grew up in Corona, playing his college ball at UC Riverside. So this is a return home of sorts for the Southern California native.