The Milwaukee Brewers have already swung one deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Could another trade be in the works?
Having worked out a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jordan Lyles, the Milwaukee Brewers appear to have another trade in the works. Rumors are swirling around another deal between the Brew Crew and the Bucs, with reliever Keone Kela coming to Milwaukee.
Are the Milwaukee Brewers just doing their due diligence, or is there actually something to this rumor?
How’s Kela doing this year
Well, Kela started the year with right shoulder issues, and spent most of the early part of the year on the Injured List. He’s made 18 appearances for the Pirates this year, and he’s managed a 3.45 ERA. In 15 2/3 innings of work, Kela has racked up 17 strikeouts, walked five, and surrendered three homers.
If he’s still hurting from his shoulder issues, it’s not showing up in his fastball. Kela is averaging 95.8 MPH on his heater this year.
How does Kela fit with the Brewers?
Kela would give the Milwaukee Brewers another power arm to slot into the late innings in front of closer Josh Hader. His big fastball and solid curve would be used to help rebuild the bridge to Hader that was damaged when Corey Knebel went out for the year.
How much will Kela cost in a trade?
Kela signed a one-year deal worth $3.175 million before the 2019 season, and he still has one year of arbitration left. If the Milwaukee Brewers add Kela at the deadline, he would also factor into the 2020 bullpen.
But how much does it usually take to acquire a right-handed, non-closing reliever at the deadline? Kela will likely cost a name or two out of the Milwaukee Brewers top 40 prospects, but it won’t be a name that most would recognize. It’s great that Kela would come with an extra year of team control, but it won’t make or break a deal, and it shouldn’t require the Brewers to overpay with a top-10 prospect.
The Brewers have leaned heavily on their bullpen for the past two years, and it’s clear that reinforcements are needed. Adding Lyles will provide a boost, but a high leverage arm like Kela would end up as a much more meaningful acquisition.
It’s worth noting that a deal isn’t imminent, but Kela certainly makes sense for a pitching staff that has had its depth tested this year. Given that July 31st is the non-waiver trade deadline, this deal could also move from ‘not imminent’ to ‘done’ in a few hours.