A couple of years ago, the Chicago White Sox thought it'd be wise to spend all of their money on their bullpen. After the 2021 season ended, Rick Hahn and his staff looked at the team and decided that the bullpen was their biggest issue.
It obviously was a bad assessment of the team as they had way bigger needs. One of the relievers they signed, Joe Kelly, was mostly terrible for them. He did not live up to being that guy that helped two different teams win the World Series.
It was thought that he'd come into this bullpen and be one of the top guys in key situations. Instead, he was mostly terrible.
In 2023, the White Sox ended up trading him back to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Of course, it was LA where he won one of his two World Series titles.
The Chicago White Sox did not get the good version of Joe Kelly.
He actually had a good time with them as he had a 1.74 ERA in 11 appearances. He went from being awful with the Sox to great with the Dodgers which really makes you question what they are doing on the south side.
This grade, however, is only going to reflect what he did with the White Sox. With them in 2023, he had an ERA of 4.97. He couldn't record outs without allowing baserunners on a regular basis while wearing that uniform.
Final 2023 Grade: F
Joe Kelly gets an F for the way he played with the White Sox. Dodger fans are giving him an A but that isn't what is important here. He was brutal and unhealthy during most of his White Sox career. They wanted to get that firey guy that pitched in Boston and Los Angeles but he was far from that.
Joe Kelly is not locked in with a team during the 2024 season. He is going to have to see who is willing to give him a contract that is somewhat risky. Will he pitch like he did with the White Sox? Will he pitch like he did with the Dodgers? It is fair to assume it will be something in the middle which is not bad.