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Joe Kelly’s deal with Dodgers officially announced

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Eight days after the deal was first reported, the Dodgers have officially announced that they have signed Joe Kelly. The details: a three-year, $23 million contract with a $12 million club option for 2022. The buyout for the option is $4 million, so Kelly is guaranteed at least $27 million and as much as $35 million.

There is likewise a games finished incentive in the deal which could make Kelly a lot of money if, for some reason, he displaces Kenley Jansen as the Dodgers’ closer.

Specifically, he’ll get $250,000 for 30 games finished and another $250,000 for every five more games he finishes, on up to 60 games. It’s not saves, mind you — you can’t structure incentives on performance stats — it’s merely on games finished. Which means that Kelly will likely be lobbying Dave Roberts to let him be the last guy mopping up blowouts. Or, well, at least I would be if I were him. For Roberts’ part, figure on having him split setup duties with Pedro Baez.

Kelly, 30, posted a 4.39 ERA with a 68/32 K/BB ratio in 65.2 innings out of the Red Sox bullpen during the regular season in 2018. He made this money in the postseason, however, limiting the opposition — including the Dodgers — to two runs, one earned, in 11.1 innings with a 13/0 K/BB ratio.

Pirates set to promote top prospect Mitch Keller

Mitch Keller
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MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo reports that the Pirates will promote top pitching prospect Mitch Keller in advance of their doubleheader against the Reds on Monday. Confirmation of the move is still pending an official announcement, but Keller will reportedly face off against Sonny Gray in Game 2.

Keller, 23, is currently listed as the Pirates’ no. 1 prospect and the no. 16 overall prospect in the league, per MLB.com. He was selected in the second round of the 2014 amateur draft and has spent the last six years refining his technique in Pittsburgh’s farm system, where he recently made the jump to Triple-A Indianapolis in 2018. So far this season, he’s 5-0 in nine starts with a 3.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, and 10.7 SO/9 through 47 innings.

It’s not clear how long of a leash the Pirates will give Keller, though given the current state of their rotation — down to four serviceable starters with Jameson Taillon on the 60-day injured list (right elbow flexor strain), Trevor Williams on the 10-day IL (right side strain), and a handful of replacements yet to impress — they may be inclined to keep him on a little longer than his spot start requires.