The Chicago White Sox sure like their relievers.
Right-handed flamethrower Joe Kelly, who spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, is going to the south side on a two-year, $17 million contract.
The deal also includes a club option for the 2024 campaign, so theoretically, the Pale Hose can have Kelly for the next three seasons if they so desire.
The news was announced on Monday via Twitter by the team.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) March 14, 2022
Kelly is what one would consider a veteran, at 33 years old, but he very much remains a solid contributor.
They clearly prioritize a stellar bullpen: even if they haven’t yet made the deep playoff run we are all expecting, the idea is solid on paper and could return results this year.
A Rock-Solid Reliever For The White Sox
Kelly pitched 44 innings in 2021 with the Dodgers, posting a solid 2.86 ERA and a 3.08 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching).
Additionally, he had 10.23 strikeouts per nine innings and 3.07 walks per nine, so he was dominant.
It was one of his best seasons as a reliever, as he posted a 0.7 WAR (Wins Above Replacement).
Ever since making the move to a full-time reliever, Kelly has shown he can be a high-leverage reliever.
In five seasons between 2017 and 2021, he posted an ERA over four two times: the other three, he was under 3.00.
He can get out of jams with his big fastball, one that can reach triple digits but usually sits in the high-nineties.
Last year, he averaged 98.1 mph with the pitch.
The White Sox are hoping he can be just as effective as he was last year.