2) Phillies trade target: Joe Kelly from the White Sox
The Chicago White Sox have put together a pitiful start to the season. They definitely have a few names of intrigue for the Phillies to start scouting already. Starting pitcher Lucas Giolito is one of them as is Liam Hendriks who is working his way back after knocking the snot out of cancer.
In looking for something different, let’s consider veteran reliever Joe Kelly. Another guy with a team option for next season, he’s the kind of high-leverage reliever this ball club should be looking at. Craig Kimbrel hasn’t been great and Seranthony Dominguez has disappointed us. Trading for a righty like Kelly should be under consideration.
Kelly has bounced around the league in his 12 seasons and is hoping to have a much better year with the White Sox in 2023. He’s coming off of a 6.08 ERA campaign in 2022. A season prior, out of the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen, Kelly was far more effective. He pitched to a 2.86 ERA in 44 innings of work for them.
Kelly should be attainable for the Phillies without having to give up a whole lot. His $9 million salary is higher than we’d like. Can John Middleton put a price on a championship?
We’ll need to see a few more successful frames from Kelly before being completely sold on him becoming an answer for the Phillies out of the bullpen. As a rental with the potential to stay in 2024, he belongs in the “keep an eye on” pile.