In the wake of the Patrick Corbin signing in Washington, the Diamondbacks made their own major league pitching acquisition. The Diamondbacks have signed right-handed pitcher, Merrill Kelly to a potential four-year pact. The breakdown of Kelly’s deal is as follows:
The 2019 salary is $2M and 2020 is $3M. The 2021 option is for $4.25M with a $500K buyout and the 2022 option for $5.25M with no buyout.
For long-time Arizona State fans, they might recognize the name. Kelly’s last moment of prominence was when he was drafted out of Arizona State University in the eighth round of the 2010 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. Kelly never did make it to the majors there. In 2015, Kelly went overseas to Korea, where he has pitched in the hitter-friendly environment for the last four seasons as a starter with a relative amount of success.
Rumors state that Kelly was being scouted by many teams for a return to the bigs in 2019. It seems the Diamondbacks wanted to make sure they were able to get their man before other, bigger-market teams had a chance to finish their business in the winter meetings, possibly leaving the Diamondbacks without their target.
Although Kelly was a full-time starter in the KBO, it seems highly unlikely he will be more than a middle reliever for the Diamondbacks.
More about Kelly can be found in this article from the other day at DRays Bay