Keone Kela

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates Land Rangers Closer Keone Kela

Prospect Taylor Hearn and player-to-be-named-later go the other way

July 31, 2018 - 7:03 am

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- The Pirates have acquired RHP Keone Kela from the Texas Rangers in exchange for LHP prospect Taylor Hearn and a player to be named later.  The announcement was officially made by general manager Neal Huntington. 

The 25-year-old Kela has recorded 24 saves in 25 opportunities while also posting a 3.44 ERA (36.2ip/14er) and 44 strikeouts in 38 appearances with the Rangers this season.  His 24 saves currently rank fifth among the American League leaders and his save percentage (96.0) is second in the A.L. behind Aroldis Chapman (28-for-29; 96.6). He just became the Rangers closer earlier this season.

“Kela is an experienced, quality, high leverage reliever who projects to be a significant addition to our late game options for the next few seasons,” said Huntington.  

Kela made his Major League debut with the Rangers in 2015 after being selected by Texas in the 12th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.  He has made all 180 big league appearances in relief and has posted a 19-10 record, 27 saves, a 3.45 ERA (169.2ip/65er) and 208 strikeouts.

Hearn posted a 3-6 record with a 3.12 ERA in 19 starts at AA Altoona this season. He also recorded 107 strikeouts in 104.1 innings pitched. Hearn was originally acquired from the Nationals along with Felipe Vazquez in exchange for Mark Melancon. 

A corresponding 25-man roster move will be announced.

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