The Pirates made an early-morning deal on Tuesday bringing closer Keone Kela in from the Texas Rangers. Pittsburgh gave up the No. 7 prospect in their organization (according to mlbpipeline.com), Taylor Hearn, and a player to be named later.
Kela will bolster the Pirates’ bullpen as they try to make a run at the playoffs. He has 24 saves this season with a 3.44 ERA. The right-hander has been opportunistic this season, only blowing one save. The Pirates will have control over the 25-year-old for a while, as he has just over two years of service time in the big leagues.
The addition of Kela to the bullpen will help the Pirates, who rank 19th in bullpen ERA at 4.23. This will also give them some flexibility as they have a left-handed closer in Felipe Vazquez. This allows Pittsburgh to assign roles (set up or closer) to the two or play the matchup game based on who is coming up in the opponent’s lineup.
Texas has started to facilitate their rebuild with this trade, as they are in last place in the AL West. Hearn has a 3.12 ERA in Double-A Altoona this season. He has 19 appearances and a record of 3-6.