Dodgers Hot Stove: Joe Kelly Signs with Chicago White Sox

Free agency is an annual reminder that major roster change is inevitable. For Dodgers fans, the first reminder was shortstop Corey Seager signing with the Texas Rangers this past December. Today, Dodgers faithful got another reminder. Reliever Joe Kelly has agreed to a two-year deal with the Chicago White Sox per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. 

AM570’s David Vassegh reported that Tony LaRussa, the White Sox Hall-of-Fame manager, was a major factor in Kelly signing with Chicago. 

It’s an interesting turn of events considering that Kelly expressed that there was “mutual interest” in the hard-throwing reliever re-signing with Los Angeles back in February. The Dodgers had previously declined Kelly’s fourth-year club option back in February to make him a free agent. 

Kelly posted a 3.59 ERA in 115 appearances with LA after signing a lucrative three-year deal with the Dodgers in 2018. Some would argue that, due to battling injuries through his Dodgers stint, he didn’t quite live up to the contract

That being said, Kelly was a no-doubt fan favorite in Los Angeles. The inland empire native is forever a baseball folk hero after his infamous exchange with Houston’s Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman in the aftermath of Houston’s sign stealing scandal. 

From the Houston moment, to rocking a mariachi jacket for the Dodgers championship White House visit, there will never be another reliever in LA quite like Joe Kelly.

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