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.