Predicted Contract: Three years, $27MM from the Los Angeles Angels
Joe Kelly has had a rollercoaster of a career in Boston. Gone are the days when he would say that he didn’t want to be a reliever because he hurt himself as a reliever in college. Kelly turned himself into an early-season Boston hero when he hit Tyler Austin of the Yankees with a pitch that started a benches-clearing brawl.
He then had a magical postseason in which he only gave up one run in 11.1 innings, while striking out 13 Yankees, Astros and Dodgers. This performance brought Kelly into the national spotlight and is a big reason a team might be willing to give him $9MM a year for three years.
Kelly is prone to a stinker outing every once in a while, but overall, he’s a solid option out of the bullpen. Especially if he’s figured out something new that will take him to the next level, as it seems like he did based on his playoff performance, he could be a dangerous weapon. And as we all know, Joe Kelly has great stuff.
A three-year contract would take him to his age 33 season, where he could still be plenty effective. The yearly average might be a little bit high, but it is definitely worth exploring for the Red Sox.