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Dodgers re-sign fan favorite reliever Joe Kelly to one-year deal worth $8 million

The Dodgers are bringing home fan favorite reliever Joe Kelly for one more season, signing the right-handed pitcher to an $8 million deal for the 2024 season. 

Kelly, now 35, made 11 appearances with the Boys in Blue last season after landing in Los Angeles via trade from the Chicago White Sox at the deadline. He had a 1.74 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 10 and one-third innings pitched. Overall for the season, Kelly hurled 39 and one-third innings with a 4.23 ERA and 60 Ks. 

The Anaheim native earned the love of Dodger Nation during his first stint with the team from 2019 to 2021, when he made 115 appearances with a 3.07 ERA and 121 strikeouts. 

During that time, Kelly's vibrant personality was often on display, especially when he wore a Mariachi jacket to the White House, which he acquired in a trade with a band member at Dodger Stadium, and had a famously spicy interaction with the infamous Carlos Correa. 

Kelly is a two-time World Series champ, having won with the Dodgers in 2020 and the Boston Red Sox in 2018. He's also pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals, who drafted him out of the University of California, Riverside in 2009. 

Despite the deal's announcement on Monday, it was reported that Kelly and the Dodgers had agreed to terms on the contract more than a week ago. 

Kelly has worn the No. 17 during his entire tenure with the Dodgers, but reports indicated that the team asked him if he would be willing to give his number to the team's newest superstar Shohei Ohtani in the event that they signed him — which they did — to a remarkable 10-year, $700 million contract.

In a post on social media, the Kelly family poked fun at what was probably one of the easiest decision's he's ever made. 

Kely will now reportedly wear No. 99, becoming the first person to wear the number since Hyun-Jin Ryu. 

In order to make room for Kelly and Ohtani on the 40-Man Roster, the Dodgers made a trade with the New York Yankees on Monday. 

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