Boston Red Sox

Apr 19, 2018, Anaheim, CA, USA: Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Joe Kelly reacts after the final out and earning a save in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt Dolloff,

So you’re saying teams want Joe Kelly?

Recent reports suggest that the Red Sox have significant competition around baseball to re-sign Kelly, who was absolutely lights out in October (one run allowed in 11.1 innings) and could be the closer wherever he signs. Their competition? Almost an entire league’s worth of teams.

That’s what the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo is gathering based on his reporting from baseball’s Winter Meetings, which started on Sunday and will continue through Thursday. Cafardo tweeted on Monday that Kelly is drawing interest from at least 15 teams, and the Red Sox remain “very much involved” in that battle royale for his services.

Cafardo notes that “some” of those teams are looking at Kelly as their potential closer. So that implies that most of his suitors still see him as more of a middle reliever or setup man. That may help Dave Dombrowski’s chances of keeping Kelly around at a relatively affordable number.

But if it turns out that the Red Sox have to overpay in order to retain Kelly, perhaps it’s best for them to move on. There are plenty of proven, veteran closer options on the market. And just because Kelly had such a dominant postseason doesn’t mean he’s permanently turned that big of a corner in his career.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at