Joe Kelly Salary: Relief Pitcher Agrees Three-year, $25 Million Deal with Los Angeles Dodgers

Joe Kelly, Boston Red Sox
Joe Kelly #56 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates after retiring the side during the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly close to signing free-agent reliever Joe Kelly.

FOX Sports MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal and The Athletic's MLB writer Robert Murray both confirmed the 30-year-old is set to sign a three-year deal worth approximately $25 million after agreeing terms with the Dodgers.

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The 30-year-old spent the last four seasons with the Boston Red Sox, appearing in a career-high 73 games in the last campaign.

Kelly played in all the five games In the World Series against the Dodgers and was the winning pitcher in Game 4 as the Red Sox won 9-6 in Los Angeles to take a 3-1 lead in the series, which they eventually won 4-1.

He pitched in six innings throughout the series, not allowing a run. Last season with Boston he had 4.39 ERA in 65.3 innings and 68 strikeouts, compared with a 2.79 ERA in 58 innings in the previous year.

A native of Southern California, Kelly is expected to serve as a lock-down setup man to Kenley Jansen, forming a duo that could be very difficult to handle.

Kelly's departure leaves the Red Sox's options in the bullpen thin on the ground. The defending World Series champions signed Nathan Eovaldi to a four-year deal worth $67.5 million but that has left them short of funds to re-sign closer Craig Kimbrel.

The latter, one of the best relievers in the MLB, has signalled he intends to sign a six-year deal, as reported by The Athletic on Wednesday.

Boston, however, has a wage bill which is already $40.9 million above the $197 million salary tax, meaning the Red Sox are liable for the 50 percent repeater tax and a 45 percent penalty for every cent over it.

The penalty also includes the loss of draft pick rank.

The relievers market this winter is packed with top class free agents but Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski suggested the lack of action in the market was surprising.

"I keep thinking it's going to, but nothing seems to happen, so I don't really know," Dombrowski said, as reported by the Boston Herald. "It's gotta happen at some point. I mean we're less than two weeks away from Christmas."

Kelly and Jeurys Familia could be the first domino chips to fall. The latter has reportedly agreed a three-year, $30 million deal to return to the New York Mets, as per MLB.com.

The Dominican spent six seasons at Citi Field before he was traded to the Oakland Athletics in July. After missing a large portion of the 2017 season following surgery to repair an arterial clot in his right shoulder, Familia posted a 2.88 ERA in 40 appearances last season.

Joe Kelly, Boston Red Sox
Joe Kelly #56 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates after retiring the side during the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images