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Joe Kelly explains why he chose Dodgers over Red Sox in free agency

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Joe Kelly explains why he chose Dodgers over Red Sox in free agency

Joe Kelly confirmed what many expected: The Los Angeles Dodgers made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

The free agent pitcher recently agreed to a three-year, $25 million contract with the Dodgers, opting not to re-sign with the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

The rumor was that L.A. was willing to offer the veteran right-hander a three-year deal that Boston was not. Turns out that's exactly what happened.

Here's Kelly explaining to WEEI's Rob Bradford why he chose the Dodgers over the Red Sox:

"I don't know if there was one moment besides me saying, 'This is the team I want to play for. This is the team that gave me a three-year deal at $25 million,' " Kelly said on the "Bradfo Sho" podcast. 

"It wasn't like I saw the writing on the wall before that. So, I guess the moment where you hear the three-year deal and no other teams are at the three-year mark ... it was like, 'All right, well, I've been really, really involved with speaking with L.A. and understanding the philosophies and behind-the-scenes stuff for pitching.' 

"I was already intrigued, so I guess if you had to put a moment on it, it was that."

Kelly obviously had some strong ties to Boston after his stellar postseason performance helped the Red Sox defeat his new team in the 2018 World Series.

But the 30-year-old's ex-teammates understood him returning to his hometown team (Kelly grew up in Riverside County, Calif.) for a better paycheck and a significant role.

"Brock (Holt) and his wife FaceTimed me and my wife at like seven in the morning, and he was like, ‘Dang, you’re super, duper, duper rich!' " Kelly told Bradford. "And I just started laughing.

I’m obviously so close with those guys and everything was positive from those guys. They understand what’s the best for my family, career."

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Breakfast Podcast, July 15, 2019: Red Sox get the win despite ongoing struggles from the mound

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Breakfast Podcast, July 15, 2019: Red Sox get the win despite ongoing struggles from the mound

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1:04 - John Tomase and Lou Merloni break down the Red Sox 10-8 win over the Blue Jays and discuss the continuing struggles of Rick Porcello and the rest of the rotation.

6:24 - Phil Perry stops by Early Edition to discuss today's Great Patriots Debate - Deion Branch vs. Danny Amendola.

10:48 - What is one sporting event you would go back in time to see live? The BST crew give us their picks.

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Nathan Eovaldi's 'arm feels great now' as he attempts to return to Red Sox

Nathan Eovaldi's 'arm feels great now' as he attempts to return to Red Sox

Dave Dombrowski has been adamant that the Boston Red Sox will soon be receiving reinforcements as they look to make a postseason push in the second half of the season. That appears to be true and at the moment, it seems that Nathan Eovaldi may be ready to return in the near future.

Eovaldi, who hasn't pitched since April 17 after having surgery to remove "loose bodies" from his elbow, threw live batting practice at Fenway Park on Monday afternoon. And Eovaldi thought the session went well and discussed how he was feeling afterward.

"My arm feels great now," Eovaldi said per WEEI's Rob Bradford. "I felt like the command was a little rusty but everything coming out felt really good. ... It’s been good. I felt like I transitioned a lot better than I thought I would. I haven’t been getting as sore as I thought I would, as well. I would say it has been pretty good."

And as for his stuff? Mitch Moreland thought that it was pretty good as well, and Eovaldi's 100 mph fastball, tough cutter, and curveball were a lot for the first baseman to handle.

"I swung against Nathan," Moreland said per Bradford. "I saw him throw a cutter and I'm like, 'Damn, how did I miss it? Then I thought, 'Oh yeah, he throws it 94 (mph).'"

It's certainly encouraging that Eovaldi had a solid session on Monday and it looks like he could come back soon. With the fifth starter position now solidified in the wake of acquiring Andrew Cashner, Eovaldi will have a chance to help solidify the back-end of their bullpen in a late-inning role. He could even end up becoming the team's closer.

It's unclear when exactly Eovaldi will return, but he's certainly a player to keep an eye on over the course of the next week or so.

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