Los Angeles Dodgers looking at Joe Kelly reunion

Oct 17, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly (17) pitching against the Atlanta Braves during the sixth inning in game two of the 2021 NLCS at Truist Park. . Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly (17) pitching against the Atlanta Braves during the sixth inning in game two of the 2021 NLCS at Truist Park. . Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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It was understandable that the Los Angeles Dodgers would decline their option on Joe Kelly. He had suffered a strained biceps during the NLCS, making his $12 million option all the more risky. That was especially the case with the sheer volume of relievers on the market and the Dodgers’ other free agents.

But that does not mean a reunion is out of the question. According to Kelly, there is mutual interest in a return, making it seem as though conversations were taking place before the lockout ended any official talks.

Joe Kelly, Los Angeles Dodgers looking at reunion

It is also understandable that the Dodgers would want to bring Kelly back. They are facing the possible loss of four of their top relievers in 2021, with Corey Knebel having already signed with the Phillies. Closer Kenley Jansen is still a free agent, as is Jimmy Nelson. Even with the number of relievers left, there are a lot of innings that the Dodgers need to cover.

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Although Kelly will not be in the mix for saves, he would still be a valuable arm for the Dodgers to bring back. He had a strong showing in 2021, posting a 2.86 ERA and a 0.977 WHiP in his 44 innings, striking out 50 batters with just 15 walks. The command issues that had plagued him over the previous two seasons had gone away.

Kelly also provides more than solid strikeout numbers and the ability to generate grounders. He has a chip on his shoulder that can be infectious, providing the bullpen an edge that can be desperately needed. There is no questioning his competitiveness and drive.

That is something that the Dodgers need. While they should still be a very competitive team, the NL West could be a tough battle. Having a strong bullpen will make a major difference in that fight, while bringing Kelly back would be a key part of their hopes.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers and Joe Kelly are both interested in a reunion. This is something that the Dodgers need to make happen.