The Pittsburgh Pirates Almost Traded Keone Kela


The Pittsburgh Pirates discussed a potential trade with the Milwaukee Brewers this past July.  Two relievers were involved.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were closing in on a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers as the July trade deadline approached.  This would have come as a surprise as the Pirates had already swung one trade with their divisional rivals by shipping out Jordan Lyles.  However, there is a report that the team almost struck another deal with the Brew Crew.  The fact that the team was looking to make two trades with the Brewers was quite surprising.

According to Robert Murray, who covers the Brewers for The Athletic, the Pirates were interested in acquiring Brewers backend of the bullpen reliever Jeremy Jeffress.  Murray broke the news late last night on Twitter:

What was even more surprising about the report was that the Bucs were going to send set up man Keone Kela in return.  In a way, this wouldn’t have been surprising with all the reports that have come out about Kela’s apparent relationship with some of the current coaches.  At one point it seemed very likely that the team would move on from the quality reliever.

Meanwhile, Jeffress was going to be made available and that actually came to fruition last night as the Brewers released the former All-Star reliever.  Since the Pirates tried to get Jeffress at the deadline, the team could look to pick him up on waivers.

The team has one of the highest waiver priorities in the National League and should be able to get him.  As long as he falls past the Miami Marlins and Colorado Rockies it seems likely the Bucs would take a flyer on him.  He also is controlled through next season.

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For the Pittsburgh Pirates, it looks like it was the right decision is Kela has returned to form and looks like he’s going to be a keeper of the bullpen going forward. If the team is still able to acquire Jeffress, the Bucs could really have a strong core in their bullpen to go into the 2020 season.