Shawn Kelley won't be back with the A's next season, but he reportedly will be staying in the American League West.
The 34-year-old reliever has agreed to a contract with the Texas Rangers, according to multiple reports.
MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reports the deal is worth $2.5 million, with a $2.5 million club option for 2020. Feinsand notes Kelley could earn close to $3 million based on performance bonuses.
Source: RHP Shawn Kelley has a one-year deal with the Rangers and has passed his physical. Deal is for $2.5M base salary, with a $2.5M club option for 2020 ($250K buyout). So he’s guaranteed $2.75M. Contract also has performance bonuses that can make each year worth almost $3M.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 28, 2019
NBC Sports California reported last week that Kelley was unlikely to return to Oakland, despite his stellar performance last season. The right-hander went 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in 19 games with the A's. In 54 games between Washington and Oakland, he was 2-0 with a 2.94 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.
The A's did have conversations with Kelley's representatives earlier this offseason, but not since signing veteran right-hander Joakim Soria to a two-year, $15 million deal last month. While Oakland had hoped to bring Kelley back, they identified starting pitching as a higher priority.
The A's still figure to have a strong bullpen, which will feature All-Star closer Blake Treinen, Lou Trivino, J.B. Wendelken, Fernando Rodney, Ryan Buchter, and Soria, among others. However, it's a bit surprising they were willing to bring back Rodney for $5.25 million, but not Kelley at about half that price.
Oakland remains interested in adding another left-handed reliever to join Buchter in the 'pen, though nothing appears imminent.