LAS VEGAS — As the night turns to the last day of the 2018 Winter Meetings, the Dodgers appear to be close to making their first major free agent deal of the offseason.
For the last two seasons, Kelly has been used exclusively as a reliever by the Red Sox. While is ERA went up from 2.79 to 4.39, his FIP was about the same, 3.49 in 2017 compared to 3.57 in 2018.
And Kelly pitched well in the 2018 postseason. He gave up two runs (one earned) while striking out 13 in 11⅓ innings.
Kelly is from Southern California. Born in Anaheim, he went to high school in Corona and then pitched at UC Riverside.
It was a Joe Kelly fastball that broke the ribs of Hanley Ramirez and derailed the Dodgers in the 2013 NLCS against St. Louis. They were later teammates in Boston.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) December 13, 2018
Dodger fans certainly remember Joe Kelly from the 2013 National League Championship Series when his fastball hit Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez would go on to hit .133/.316/.133 in that series that the Cardinals won in six games.
Ramirez had been the hitting star of that Dodger team and some believe that pitch ruined the Dodgers chances to go to the World Series that season.
Ramirez and Kelly would eventually reunite in Boston and both will receive World Series rings for being members of the 2018 World Series champs.
Filling out the bullpen was certainly something you would expect the Dodgers to do and this is a good place to start.