LAS VEGAS — The Fight Club is going west.
Former Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly has agreed to a three-year deal worth about $25 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a baseball source confirmed on Wednesday night, representing the first major departure from the 2018 World Series-winning Sox and, at a late hour, some action at the winter meetings at last. The 30-year-old Kelly had a 4.33 ERA in five seasons with the Sox, joining the team via trade as a starting pitcher in 2014 before transitioning full-time to the bullpen in 2017.
Kelly is a southern California native, so joining the Dodgers is a homecoming. He threw six innings with no earned runs allowed, 10 strikeouts and no walks in the World Series against the Dodgers.
A fan favorite with a triple-digit fastball, Kelly endeared himself to Sox fans not only with a dominant showing in the 2018 playoffs, but by fighting Tyler Austin, then with the Yankees, during the regular season.
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The news broke well after most on the East Coast had gone to sleep, a little before midnight local time. The winter meetings had been slow to that point. Earlier in the day, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he was unsure when the reliever market would begin to move.
Another reliever, Jeurys Familia, reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Mets late Wednesday night as well.
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