Merrill Kelly (35, Arizona), who played for 4 years in SK in the KBO League and won a total of 48 wins, achieved her once-in-a-lifetime dream of advancing to the major leagues ahead of the 2019 season. Kelly had only a minor league career before coming to Korea in 2015, but after developing his skills in Korea and receiving good reviews, he made his major league debut in 2019.
Kelly was a 2+2 year contract, and his first 2 years were players with a combined annual salary of only $5 million. But Kelly right away began to show that his salary wasn’t everything. In 2019, he started 32 games and pitched 183⅓ innings, going 13-14 with an ERA of 4.42, and started to become known as a cost-effective pitcher. In 2020, which was a shortened season due to Corona 19, he achieved excellent results with an average ERA of 2.59 with 3 wins and 2 losses.
It was at that point that the trade discussion surfaced. Kelly had a club-friendly contract and proved with his skills in the big leagues that, if not an ace, he could play well enough as a 3-5 starter. And Arizona, as a team in the rebuilding phase, was somewhat flexible in trade discussions. This is the reason why there were endless trade rumors in the middle of the season and every offseason.
As a result, Kelly remained with the team ahead of the 2022 season, signing a two-year, $18 million contract that runs from 2023. However, he can still be said to be a club-friendly contract, and he is a player with the possibility of trade rumors resurfacing depending on Arizona’s performance in the middle of the 2023 season.
Drew Luczynski (35, Oakland), who challenges the legend of Kelly, may follow a similar path depending on his performance this year. Luchinski, an NC ace who won 53 wins in 4 years in the KBO League, chose to challenge the major leagues ahead of this season and signed a 1+1 year contract with Oakland for a total of $8 million. He gets $3 million this year and $5 million next year if the option runs. He shares some similarities with Kelly, in that he played four years in the KBO league, and in that he ventured into the major leagues. 안전놀이터
Oakland is a difficult team to buy a top-class player in the market due to the team’s financial situation. So, I gathered a lot of cost-effective pitchers like Luchinski. It’s hard to predict Oakland’s performance this season, but there’s a good chance they’ll be in trade discussions with teams looking for a starter. Already, many of Oakland’s top starters have been traded in recent years.
Local media observe that if Luczynski plays well this year, he may be traded with a light salary and remaining contract as a weapon. ‘Major League Trade Rumors’ (MLTR) said on the 24th (Korean time), ‘Luczynski signed a contract for $3 million for a year, and the club option for 2024 is $5 million. If he can transfer his performance in the KBO League to the Coliseum (Oakland’s home stadium) in some form, he will be a constant inning eater and a great summer trade chip,’ he predicted.
Of course, this scenario assumes that Luczynski is a player who can attract attention from other teams by performing well like Kelly. Statistical projection ‘ZiPS’ predicted that this year, Luczynski would record an average self-assessment score of 5.13 and a win contribution ratio (WAR) of 0.2 against replacement players under the assumption that he would throw 104 innings in 21 games. These are not very attractive numbers for other teams. Attention is focusing on how Luchinski’s 2023 will go.