The Dodgers and reliever Joe Kelly are nearing a deal to keep the right-hander in Los Angeles, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
A longtime fan favorite and member of the club’s 2020 World Series-winning team, Kelly was reacquired by the Dodgers at the trade deadline last season. The 35-year-old Southland native made only 11 appearances following the move, but still posted a 1.74 ERA to bolster the club’s bullpen down the stretch of its 100-win season.
Kelly was less effective before the trade, with a 4.97 ERA to start the season while playing with the Chicago White Sox.
However, Kelly also finished the year with a career-best 99-mph average fastball, and received rave reviews from Dodgers brass about the quality of his pitches.
Once his deal is finalized, Kelly will return to an L.A. bullpen expected to be anchored by Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol and other returners from last year’s group — which struggled early in the season, but found its footing down the stretch.