Now ex-Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly has officially cashed in on a white-hot 2018 postseason run by way of a three-year, $25 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to multiple reports.
— MLB (@MLB) December 13, 2018
The move to the Dodgers is homecoming of sorts for the 30-year-old Kelly, an Anaheim, Calif. native and California Riverside alum, after having spent the last four and a half seasons with the Red Sox.
Acquired in 2014 in the deal that John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals, Kelly started out his Sox career as a starter, but worked primarily out of the bullpen during his memorable run with the Red Sox.
The hard-throwing Kelly was undoubtedly at his best in 2018 as one of Alex Cora's middle relievers, and was downright untouchable throughout the postseason, with a 0.79 ERA and opponents hitting just .186 off Kelly in 11.1 innings of work. It was over that playoff run that Kelly surrendered just one earned run, allowed eight hits, and fanned 13.
Kelly was especially impressive in the 2018 World Series against his hometown Dodgers, allowing just four hits and striking out 10 in six innings of undeniably high-leverage work.
Members of the Red Sox were reportedly lobbying to the front office to re-sign Kelly earlier in the day, but those attempts were obviously unsuccessful as Red Sox president of baseball ops Dave Dombrowski continues to make an apparent play to save money down the line for potential extensions for some of the Red Sox' core pieces.
Click here for 98.5 The Sports Hub's complete coverage of Dombrowski and Co.'s offseason.