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Dodgers Expected to Decline Contract Option on Joe Kelly This Week



According to LA Times beat writer Jorge Casillo, the Dodgers are expected to decline a club option on right-handed reliever Joe Kelly this offseason. If it is the end, what a wild journey it’s been for Kelly and the Dodgers. After helping upend the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series with Boston, Kelly inked a 3-year, $25M deal with LA. In 3 seasons, the right-hander has a 3.59 ERA over 115 games.

Notably, he missed significant time in the 2020 season after earning a hefty 8 game suspension during the 60 game season. Additionally, he missed time early in 2021 recovering from offseason surgery to correct an issue in his right shoulder.

Now, the 33-year-old hurler could hit the open market once again.

If the Dodgers do decline the option, Kelly would be set to join Kenley Jansen and Corey Knebel as free agents this winter. However, there’s one big hurdle for Kelly. After suffering a bicep injury in the postseason, he’s not expected to be ready to go to start the 2022 season. At least according to reports.

If you’re looking for the financials, if the Dodgers exercised the option, Kelly would make $12 in 2022. In declining, they would pay only a $4M buyout. As Castillo noted, a new deal between Kelly and LA isn’t out of the picture. Kelly resides close-ish to Dodger Stadium and seemingly enjoyed playing close to home over the last few years. It’s up to him to determine whether that comfort is worth a few million dollars less in contract value.

NEXT: LA Could Pivot to Free Agent Outfielder Starling Marte Says MLB Insider

Written by Staff Writer

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  1. So decline the option and then negotiate a more palatable contract with Kelly. I for one would like to see him in Dodger Blue.

    • Harry, I’m shocked…just kidding, me too of course. Under the right terms why wouldn’t you want to have somebody as “nasty” as Joseph? Great clubhouse guy too, that matters IMO.

  2. This last year he was OK, but his first 2 were kind of a roll of the dice. With him not ready for opening day ; it would kind of seal the deal to save 8 mil. And use that for others. If my math is right, we could have (with Bauer gone) close to 100 mil off the books.Resign Clayton, Max,, Kenley, and CT3.

    • Kersh and Kenley are not coming back. Scherzer and Bauer will be back. Hopefully CT3 will be back too. Kelly will probably go elsewhere.

    • We can only hope the Dodgers get relief from the human dumpster fire. There is no guarantee of that though. WSS

        • Hey Bro, the entire clubhouse as I recall reading somewhere don’t want him anywhere near this team. Chances are, no matter the verdict Bauer will be suspended and nobody can envision wanting Bauer back. Besides if he’s suspended, that should free up some payroll for other pitching and bench needs.

          • “as I recall reading somewhere ”

            This isn’t what I would call supporting evidence…

          • This site and others HAVE reported such. Bauer is a club house cancer. He may never throw another pitch, ever.

          • I don’t believe that statement at all. If Jeff Pasan said that, then you know it’s fake.

        • I agree D-boy…..No worries, do goody L.A, crowd won’t offer him any treatment or counseling for his mistake. They’ll just send him off like Chapman to go help another team win a World Series, probably against the Dodgers….If he was a different color they’d all be giddy to help and forgive…..Hopefully they will practice what they preach with him. The team needs him badly…As I recall there was another hard nosed player #23 that came here and the players didn’t exactly like him either, but they dang sure respected him///…

          • My favorite. # 23 was a REAL PLAYER. Not these pansies they have today.

          • Kirk, there is a huge difference between Gibby who played the game the right way and his team mates came to love him. He was a hard nose SOB and earned their respect. If Bauer fits into that same category, you are mistaken.
            Trying to place Gibby into any similar situation is not going to work with the Dodgers faithful and won’t be accepted by the Dodger fan base. Putting Gibby anywhere any where near this idiot is a huge mistake,

            Gibby never did nor would he let himself get caught up in the type of situation that Bauer finds himself in. My personal opinion, but I don’ see this FO trying to shove Bauer into the clubhouse when the team would rater not have him there.

            Lastly, why would they subject the team to the abuse Bauer will receive in every stadium the Dodgers play in.

        • Has absolutely nothing to do with his possibly being innocent. Simply goes to character. You can’t have a cancer in your clubhouse!

  3. They will decline and attempt to renegotiate…his personality and reliability are part of the glue that holds this team together; he pitched really well when healthy. Loosing guys like Kelly and Knebel only makes Friedman’s job that much tougher this off-season. Having to rebuild the pen, starting pitching and offense while the CBA is up in the air is a lot to ask of any GM.

    • 65yr, I share your sentiments. Did you happen to see my question to you on possibly moving Smith to 3B? Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

    • Bubbalousky, either way ,Bauer will not be back on this team on a Dodger broadcast during this year it was made known that most players would not welcome Bauer back afterwhat took place and Joe and Orel had mentioned this at the time. Would you want Bauer back on your team? I would bet most fans here want for him to be suspended without pay because ultimately he showed he no longer deserves a seat in the dugout. Dodgers could use his $$ to fill other needs.

  4. Mariachi Joe. Dodgers need him. The guy is a character. The team already lost crowd favorites Joc and Kike. Tio will probably be gone also. Who’s left?

    • A no brainer! How many takers are there going to be for a 34 year old set-up guy with a bad arm? Should be able to get him cheap enough to roll the dice you would think.

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