Kelly heads back to the Seoul-based franchise for a sixth season. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi suggested earlier this month that the 34-year-old could be on MLB radars. While it’s possible he found some amount of big league interest, he’s clearly comfortable with the KBO’s defending champions.
A former first-round pick of the Red Sox, Kelly struggled to a 5.46 ERA with three clubs over parts of four MLB seasons between 2012-18. He has been a durable and effective starter since making the jump to Korea for the 2019 campaign. He has started between 27 and 30 games in each of his five KBO seasons, topping 166 innings annually. This past season’s 3.83 ERA was the highest of any those years.
The Twins also re-signed outfielder Austin Dean last week. That duo is joined by newcomer Dietrich Enns as the team’s three foreign-born players. Righty Adam Plutko did not re-sign and is seeking MLB opportunities this winter.