After agreeing to contract terms at the MLB Winter Meetings in early December, Joe Kelly and the Los Angeles Dodgers officially announced the signing of the free agent pitcher.
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly to a three-year contract.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) December 21, 2018
The signing marked something of a homecoming for Kelly, who grew up in nearby Corona, CA. Although he grew up more of an Anaheim Angels’ fan, he’s always enjoyed Dodger Stadium and Dodger games.
“It is coming home for me, I’m going to be able to stay in my house that I live in in the off-season now, in the house all the time, so that’s going to be fun,” Kelly said. “I’m going to be able to hang around with my family, hang around with my friends.
The Dodgers weren’t the only team interested in the free agent Kelly, but in an interview with the Boston based network WEEI, he said that he was “blown away” by their presentation, and how they viewed the right-hander. The fact that they were the only team offering a third guaranteed year on the contract didn’t hurt.
The contract is broken down as follows: Kelly will earn $3M in 2019, with a signing bonus of $3M. The 2020 and 2021 seasons will have an average annual value of $8.5M for each year. The deal also includes up to $2M in incentives based on games finished, and a fourth year option valued at $12M.
With the Dodgers, he will be wearing number 17, the same number he wore during his college career at UC Riverside. When asked about the number, Joe said that it was the first time in his career that he was able to pick his own number, so he was excited to jump at the opportunity.