MLB teams
ESPN News Services 5y

Rangers send closer Keone Kela to Pirates

MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers

PHOENIX -- The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired hard-throwing closer Keone Kela from the Texas Rangers for left-handed minor league pitcher Taylor Hearn and a player to be named later.

The deal was announced late Monday night after the Rangers' 9-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

"It was a challenging trade," said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, whose team is last in the American League West. "Keone has been awesome the last couple years, a dominant closer for us. Ultimately [we] felt, where we are, it made sense to consider these kind of deals where we can get multiple players."

The surging Pirates are 3½ games behind Arizona for the final National League wild-card spot, with Atlanta and Colorado also ahead of them in the standings. The Pirates entered Monday with a 4.23 bullpen ERA, 10th-best in the NL.

Kela, 25, has 24 saves and a 3.44 ERA this season. He will be arbitration-eligible beginning next season and will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season.

Kela learned of the deal after being called from the bullpen in the seventh inning Monday night.

"I'm still a little shocked, but I'm excited that it's a new beginning, a new journey that I get to venture into," he said. "Just forever grateful for the opportunity to play here in Texas, all the support from the fans."

The Pirates acquired Hearn from the Nationals in the 2016 trade that sent reliever Mark Melancon to Washington. Hearn is 3-6 with a 3.12 ERA in 19 starts for Double-A Altoona this season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

^ Back to Top ^