• Joe Kelly prefers a reunion with the Dodgers once the MLB lockout ends
  • Kelly is drawing interest from several teams, including the Cardinals
  • The Dodgers need to address their needs to stay competitive next season

There are a lot of MLB free agents in the market right now, and most cannot do anything until the MLB lockout ends.

One of the notable available names right now is pitcher Joe Kelly, who spent last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Although there have been teams interested in the 33-year-old player, Kelly revealed he would not mind returning to Los Angeles if it was doable.

But from the way he was talking on Dodger Talk hosted by David Vassegh, it appears the two-time World Series champion and the Dodgers have a "mutual interest" in reuniting the next MLB season.

"As with the whole lockout, once it's over... teams are going to be signing," Kelly said to Vassegh. "The signing period's going to be like basketball. People are going to be signing at 4:00 in the morning. But obviously, I want to come back and be a Dodger --and the interest is mutual, so we've got to make something happen."

Things could have been less complicated back in November had the Dodgers exercised their $12 million option on the veteran pitcher.

Considering the 33-year-old has been a vital cog for the team in the last three years, it would have made sense to still have a lock on him at the time.

In 44 innings, he pitched to a 2.86 ERA with a strong 27.5% strikeout rate, an 8.2% walk rate, and a huge 58.9% ground-ball rate.

His average heater was down a tick from its 99.1 mph peak, but Kelly's 98.1 average fastball velocity represented a bump from his 2019-20 levels, pointed out.

Kelly has spent three seasons with the Dodgers after a previous two-and-a-half-year run with the St. Louis Cardinals and four-and-a-half seasons with the Boston Red Sox.

Once the MLB lockout is settled, Kelly will be short of options.

Aside from the Dodgers and the Cardinals, other teams have reportedly shown interest in the California native.

Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers
Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images | Kevin C. Cox