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Should I Stay or Should I Go: Joe Kelly

Buying high on damaged goods

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Colorado Rockies
Imagine that, another rough outing for Joe Kelly.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

fWAR: 0.5
bWAR: -0.6
WARP: 0.8

He should stay Kelly was snake-bitten in so many ways, and his results (6.08 ERA) were a far cry from how he was throwing (3.06 FIP). As he gets further removed from injury, his excellent strikeout rate (31.2%) can still be an asset even with his relatively high salary. He’s a hard-nosed competitor with postseason credentials — both attributes the White Sox need.

He should go The results are the results, and Kelly’s were definitely bad. If his salary could be removed it would allow a bit of flexibility to address the myriad other issues on the roster. Kelly’s walk rate spiked badly in 2022, and he had too many outings where he was unable to get through an inning (37 IP in 43 appearances).

The verdict While it would be nice if some other team were willing to take on Kelly’s salary, it is probably a bit of a pipe dream, especially given his iffy health and advanced age (he’ll be 35 next season). The White Sox are probably stuck with him at this point, and as with far too many players, they have to hope he can distance himself from his injury woes and return to being a top-tier reliever.