Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and pitcher Merrill Kelly have agreed to a two-year, $5.5 million contract. The deal also includes club options for 2021 ($4.25 million with $500,000 buyout) and 2022 ($5.25 million, no buyout).
Kelly, 30, was selected by the Rays in the eighth round of the 2010 draft. He pitched in the Rays’ minor league system through 2014, reaching Triple-A and generally posting good numbers, though he never received a call up to the majors. Kelly signed with the SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization for the 2015-18 seasons. Overseas, Kelly showed an improved ability to strike batters out and also displayed better command than he did in the minors, which helped pique the D-Backs’ interest.
Passan notes that Kelly is expected to be part of the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation, which presently includes Zack Greinke, Taijuan Walker, Zack Godley, and Robbie Ray.
Welp, that didn’t last long. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is going back on the injured list with more knee issues. If it matters the Sox say it’s not a big deal and they expect him back sooner rather than later, but they also said that his post-2017 knee surgery was just a “cleanup” at first and that basically cost him a year. So.
Pedroia has played in six games and is 2-for-20 with a walk.
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that Pedroia’s career may be nearing an end. Sure, he’s under contract for two more years after this season, but he’s also in a unfortunate spiral that so many players experience in their mid-to-late 30s.
Running a website like this makes it all the clearer, actually. When you search a player’s name in our CMS, you get every post in which he appears in reverse chronological order. Just about every long-tenured player ends with about six posts in which he is alternately placed on and activated from the disabled/injured list. Then an offseason link to a big feature in which he’s written about as being “at a crossroads” followed by something vague about “resuming baseball activities” and then, inevitably, the retirement announcement. I can’t count the number of guys whose careers I can tick off in that way by browsing the guts of this site.
I hope that’s not the case for Pedroia. I hope that there’s a “Pedroia wins Comeback Player of the Year” post in the future. Or at the very least a silly “Miller’s Crossing” reference in an “And that Happened” in which I say “the old man’s still an artist with the Thompson” after he peppers the ball around in some 3-for-4, two-double game. I want that stuff to happen.
It’s just that, if you watch this game long enough, you realize how unlikely that is once a player starts to break down.