In addition to re-signing Chris Young yesterday the Nationals also announced the signing of Gabriel Alfaro, a 30-year-old right-hander who’s spent the past two seasons thriving in the Mexican League.
Alfaro, who began his pro career pitching in the Blue Jays’ farm system in 2005, posted a 2.58 ERA and 163 strikeouts in 129 innings as Oaxaca’s closer during the past two seasons, saving 26 games each year.
For the Nationals there’s no real risk involved in giving him a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training and if Alfaro’s stuff translates to the majors they may have found a solid setup man.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Dodgers are close to signing reliever Joe Kelly. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the deal is for three years and around $25 million.
Kelly, 30, posted a 4.39 ERA with a 68/32 K/BB ratio in 65 2/3 innings out of the Red Sox bullpen during the regular season in 2018. He turned it up a notch in the postseason, limiting the opposition to two runs (one earned) in 11 1/3 innings with a 13/0 K/BB ratio.
With the Red Sox, Kelly mostly pitched seventh and eighth innings ahead of closer Craig Kimbrel. He will likely do the same ahead of closer Kenley Jansen, sharing the workload with Pedro Báez.