Without question, the biggest move the Dodgers made so far this offseason was signing fireballer Joe Kelly to a three-year deal. Actually, it was the only big move (unless you count the Kershaw contract), as most of the other signings and deals were mostly dribble in creating depth right along the fringe. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.
The move was initially announced last week, but today the Los Angeles Dodgers finally made it official, announcing the signing of relief pitcher Joe Kelly to a three-year contract. However, the team still has yet to announce a corresponding move to create a roster spot. Dennis covered what moves might be made to add Kelly to the 40-man on Tuesday. Fans are hoping that the front office is still working to make trades to make space and bring a catcher or another pitcher to the team, and that is the delay for the announcement of the corresponding move.
While it’s been almost a week since the news broke of the Dodgers signing righty reliever Joe Kelly, there still hasn’t been an formal announcement from the team, which indicates there is some kind of holdup making the contract official.
Old foes can become friends, and that is what seems to be happening between the Dodgers and Joe Kelly. The 30-year-old righty reliever is reportedly in agreement to sign with Los Angeles, pending a physical.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a deep roster, which is great, but it can certainly make some players unsure of what their role is going to be as the seasons progress.
Being that there’s no shortage of decent relief pitching in this year’s free agent class, one wonders if boss Andrew Friedman will abandon his typical of philosophy from building his bullpen from within and dip into resources from the outside. While there’s still some speculation that the Dodgers will once again land below the Luxury Tax threshold next season, there still may be some room under the cap to land a quality fireman.
Although it took many years of patience from Dodgers management alongside endless moments of booing from the Los Angeles faithful, Pedro Baez has finally emerged as one of the club’s most trustworthy relievers.
Many followers of the Dodgers hoped the addition of veteran reliever Ryan Madson would bolster the team’s relief corps just a little bit, but that doesn’t seem to be the case—at least not yet. Since returning from the DL because of nerve irritation in his lower back, Madson has made four appearances—one for the Nationals (before he was traded) and three for the Dodgers. In 3-1/3 innings of work, the righty has surrendered five hits (one of which was a long ball) and a walk, resulting in three earned runs. Despite his heater sitting in the 94-95 MPH range, he still hasn’t been able to find any mojo from his former self from a long time ago.
Aside from the whole clutch performance thing we discussed yesterday, the most glaring weakness of the Dodgers has undoubtedly been the bullpen, especially at the back-end. Kenley Jansen may be at a point where he’s deemed undependable. In the meantime, though, who should be the closer, at least until Jansen figures things out?
Sometimes, all it takes is an 11-1 drubbing of another contending club to quickly change a fan’s perspective about the direction of their favorite baseball team. When an offense works according to the way it was specifically designed, it takes a huge amount of pressure off a pitching staff, especially a bullpen which has struggled mightily over the past week. And, with the news that closer Kenley Jansen‘s healing progress has been accelerated, the immediate future of the Dodgers doesn’t seem so dismal after all.