White Sox reportedly get reliever Joe Kelly on two-year deal


One of the league’s best bullpens just got even stronger.

Joe Kelly is reportedly signing a two-year deal with the White Sox, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports. The deal will become official when Kelly completes a physical.

The White Sox were aggressive in acquiring bullpen help last season, shipping top rookie Nick Madrigal and promising reliever Codi Heuer to the crosstown Cubs for All-Star reliever Craig Kimbrel at the trade deadline. The White Sox weren’t able to take advantage of Kimbrel’s postseason experience, though, as they lost in the ALDS to the Astros.

Kimbrel will be back this season with Kelly, as they figure to be the two primary setup men for star closer Liam Hendriks. The trio of veterans will be supported by youngbloods Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall, Kendall Graveman and more, making up what could easily prove to be the league’s best crop of relief talent.

Kelly will be a big part of that, and he will bring similar winning experience with him. He’s won two World Series in his career, with the Red Sox in 2018 and the Dodgers in 2020. Last season, he logged a 2.86 ERA in 48 appearances for Los Angeles, striking out 50 over 44 innings.


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